The Muslim holiday of Ramadan begins this week, and the first thing that many non-Muslims envision is a month of fasting under blazing desert suns.
Along with fasting, prayer and charity are also emphasized during this month. Muslims are reminded to rediscover the meaning of mercy and compassion, reflect on life’s meaning, and transcend superficial desires and consumerist addictions. It is the time to review life in a holistic way, a practice Muslims and non-Muslims alike can benefit from, and which isn’t tied to any geographical location.
Makkah Ali and Ikhlas Saleem, co-hosts of the Identity Politics podcast, use Ramadan as a time to control physical impulses, such a backbiting or anger, and renew their spirituality.
“For me, to not eat or drink is the easiest part,” Saleem says. “The much more difficult part is remembering my character throughout the day.”
Fasting during Ramadan is encouraged to go beyond abstaining from food and drink to include refraining from habits preventing people from being compassionate, healthy, and intellectual members of society.
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