There’re many holidays’ people celebrate. Ramadan happens to be one of them. I’m proud to work for an organization that recognizes all cultures and share awareness of their uniqueness. Today I’d like to welcome Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee as they share what the holiday, Ramadan means to them.
When asked to talk about Ramadan, my initial thoughts were worried as I didn’t know much about this holy holiday. I had known a few friends who celebrated the month, so I reached out to them to get their perspective. This is what I learned:
Muslims believed that around 610 A.D., a man by the name of Muhammad began receiving revelations from God through an angel named Gabriel. These revelations were then turned into 114-chapter book, which we now know as the Quran. Ramadan is celebrated as the month during which Muhammad received the initial revelations of what became the Quran. Because the Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon, Ramadan is set to begin March 22nd through April 21st for 2023. During this time, Muslims abstain for eating food, drinking, and intimacy from dawn till dusk. It is a time to practice self-restraint and self-reflection. This form of fasting helps them understand the perspective of people less fortunate than them while also gaining the opportunity to learn more about their religion without any distractions. About 1.6 billion Muslims around the world celebrate this holiday. However, there are some stipulations. People who are pregnant, sick, or elderly do not have to participate as well as children who have not reached puberty yet. At the end of the Ramadan, Muslims have a big celebration typically in a mosque called Eid in which they gather with family, eat lots of food, and share their experience of what they learned.
When thinking about Ramadan, I often found myself reflecting on ways that I celebrate my culture and do better to grow within my spirituality. Do I ever take time to reflect and give back to those that are less fortunate? Do I practice discipline as often as I should? I think that we can all learn from this holiday as we can be more considerate of other backgrounds and experiences. I’ve noted that as I learn more about other cultures, I tend to adopt some of the values and traditions that closely align with who I am as an individual. When thinking about other religions and cultures, I find that they have a lot of similarities in principles and morality but with different religious figures and prophets. Knowing this, it has caused me to do more research and be aware of the various religious holidays that are celebrated throughout the year. Hopefully, you might be able to do the same and take some time to self-reflect about the way you celebrate your culture.