Room at the Ramadan
If you aren’t as spiritual as you’d like to be, maybe its time to widen your perspective. Learning about other religions can help you gain insight into your own.
Take Ramadan, for instance. Perhaps you’ve heard of it but don’t have a clue as to what it marks. In September, Muslims observe the month-long Fast of Ramadan, meaning no food or drink all day and only a small meal at night. (Suddenly, giving up bread for Passover or Twix bars for Lent doesn’t seem so bad, does it?)
During the fast, Muslims focus on strengthening family/community ties and purifying the soul through prayer, charity and forgiveness. The fast is broken with a three day feast called Eid. The spiritual focus of the holiday is one that anybody can gain from—the tenets of love, renewal and giving are ones found in nearly every religion.
Living more spiritually—although not necessarily like a Muslim—may be an element that’s been missing from your life. Ask yourself what steps you’re taking towards a more spiritual life, and if you can't think of any or aren't sure where to begin, try fasting for a day or even a meal and see what it does for your spirit. Explore Ramadan and other significant religious holidays. You may not fast for a month, but think of how you might change your perspective.
Ramadan is a significant time in every Muslims life. Every Year the Muslim strives to make the most of that years Ramadan, as it is not only the month of mercy but could very well be their last Ramadan due to death.
This is an ideal list of things Muslims try to do every day in the month of Ramadan:
When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened. Whoever fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah will have all of his previous sins forgiven. Fasting also provides protection from evil for those who sincerely fast.
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, quoted Allah as saying:
"Every act of Adam’s descendents is for themselves, except fasting. It is meant for Me alone, and I alone will give the reward for it.”
The greatest of all these merits is that this is the month in which the last and only unchanged, protected book of divine guidance remaining in the world, was revealed in the month of Ramadan.
“The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quraan was sent down as a (pure source of) guidance for mankind. In it are clear teachings showing the Right Way and the criterion (for judging truth and falsehood).”
For more information:
I disagree with the latter comment that Islam is a religion that has two diametrically opposed teachings. That comment ha is shallow and untrue.
As far as Ramadan is concerned, There aremany health advantages including psychological effects of fasting as well. There is a peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan. Personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. ... This psychological improvement could be related to better stabilization of blood glucose during fasting as hypoglycemia after eating, aggravates behavior changes. ... Similarly, recitation of the Quran not only produces a tranquility of heart and mind, but improves the memory.
[2:185] Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation
I think it's important to recognize that while there are Islamic extremists (as there are extremists in other religions) that most who practice Islam are gentle in nature. The point here is fasting—how can going without help us understand what it means for others to go without? How can we help others live more fully?
Unfortunately Islam is a religion that has two diametrically opposed teachings i.e. the Mecca teaching of Love, Peace, unity, and compassion while the Medina teaching promotes hate, revenge, lying, and deceit to force it's belief system on others. Your choice is accept Islam or die. Both are disguised in the Koran due to the order of it's presentation of verse. It is deceptive by design because they come to destroy not blend.