Guest post: Ramadan nourishes soul, citizenship
Maher Kharma is president of the Islamic Society of Annapolis.
In a nutshell, Ramadan is one the five pillars of Islam during which Muslims fast from down to sunset through out the month. During Ramadan, Quran was revealed on Mohammed over 1400 years ago. Muslims observe Ramadan by abstaining during the days of Ramadan from food, beverages, intimacy, and by observing best manners. At the end of each of the 30 days, a voluntary night prayers takes place in the mosques. The end of Ramadan is marked by celebrating “Eid Al Fiter” or end of Ramadan feast.
While the physical aspects of Ramadan involves the act of abstinence, the fast includes much spiritual and moral benefits besides those physical ones. In assessing serious challenges that law makers and law enforcement authorities have to deal with frequently in order to stabilize the society, we realize that crimes, drugs, violence, alcoholism, and abuse constitute some of the top societal ills that drain societal resources and place major kinks in the fabric of a more peaceful society.
By large, such acts appear to be rooted in a lack of ability to exercise self control needed to stop one from breaking the law or from infringing the rights of others. For a Muslim, Ramadan comes to be a vehicle that he/she enters as an opportunity to develop better control over own emotions, and to restore superiority over what could be internal or external drivers of deviant behavior.
While the fasting month may be perceived as a time of physical hardship, a deeper look at what is behind the actual act of fast reveals many advantages that such an act of worship can produce not only for reshaping ones character, but as well as for creating a more harmonious society.