Ramadan is here again! It’s that time of the year when festive decors line the streets of Geylang Serai and festive music is played on repeat. Treat yourself to festive delicacies, keep your eyes peeled on the latest designs of traditional costumes and look forward to an array of street food at the Ramadan Bazaars sprawling across the island. But, Ramadan is much more than that.
Ramadan is an opportunity to give back to the community, spend time with our family and loved ones and deepen our sense of spiritual awareness. Here are five important things about Ramadan.
1. It’s not just ‘No Eating & Drinking’
Ramadan is not just – No Food and Drinks. From dawn to dusk, Muslims abstain from vices such as smoking, gossiping, telling lies and uttering vulgarities. Fasting keeps our behavior in check from how we speak, to how we feel, think and treat others. Fasting, by itself, presents a real challenge. Instead of being peevish whenever we feel hungry or thirsty, we should instead empathize and feel the plight of the less fortunate who spend each day in this circumstance. Take this opportunity to truly embrace this month and deepen our sense of spiritual awareness.
2. A period of introspection
Mosques are the go-to place for the community. During this blessed month, Muslims flock to mosques to reflect and recharge their iman in preparation for the challenges that will be faced in the upcoming months. Muslims are encouraged to self-reflect and actively make improvements and changes in their lives.
3. Charity: Giving back and contributing to charitable causes
Charity is an important aspect of Islam and is even more pronounced during Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to be empathetic and lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Mosques and religious organizations offer free meals to the community during Iftar and Sahur. MENDAKI’s Project JOY is one of such initiatives where we rally various members of the community to give back to those who are less fortunate through various means both in cash and kind.
4. Spending time with our family and loved ones
Besides the well-loved Ramadan Bazaar and festive treats, Ramadan holds a deeper meaning for Muslims. Behind closed doors, Muslims spend quality time bonding with their family and loved ones during Sahur and Iftar. Families that may not otherwise have the opportunity of having a meal together value Ramadan for this reason.
5. Improving your metabolic function
Every year, look forward to Ramadan! Have you noticed that during Ramadan our bodies feel more rested? Fasting gives your digestive system a break, and this energizes your metabolism to burn through calories more efficiently. Research has shown that fasting helps to clean up toxins and regulate the functioning of other organs including the liver and kidneys. After a few days of fasting, your body gets accustomed to this new change. Naturally, Ramadan is an opportunity to regulate and moderate our eating habits. This essentially, brings about a wealth of health-related benefits. Plus points for looking good on Eid!
Ramadan is a personal experience and a spiritual journey that we get to share with our family, friends and the community. Do take this opportunity to strengthen our ties with our loved ones. Ramadan Kareem!