When I hear of Ramadan I think of fasting, religion, and commitments. However, it is much more in-depth than that; after reading the writer’s speech, I have a deeper understanding and respect for the Muslim religion and of the sacrifices they endure to stay faithful to their beliefs. The speaker begins the informative speech by describing the history of Ramadan, its religious practices, and the author’s personal connection to the religion. Ramadan can be traced back to 1,400 years ago in the Middle East and the beginning of the Quran.
This commenced prophet Mohamed’s religious journey in the desert of Saudi Arabia. In the Arabic language Ramadan means “Scorcher” because of the intense summer heat Mohamed encountered in his journey. Ramadan follows the moon cycle of the Islamic calendar and contains 354 days. It always begins approximately ten days before it began the previous year. The month of Ramadan takes place on the ninth month of the Muslim year during sunrise to sunset.
The speaker goes on to explain that fasting, prayer, and charity are the three main practices of Ramadan. The first practice is fasting which is also known as Sawm. It begins at sunrise and ends at sunset and is requires for all practicing Muslims except for the sick, the elderly, the travelers and pregnant women. The second practice of Ramadan is prayer. Muslims traditionally pray five times a day, but during this time Muslims are expected to pray more and recite the entire Quran throughout the course of the month.
Lastly, charity is also a huge part of Ramadan. Iftars tend to be organized and funded by the wealthy with the focus on feeding the poor and the homeless. After, reading the speech it was evident that the format of the speech was topical. The speaker, chose to dissect the topic by informing the audience of historical facts, defining the meaning of Ramadan and connecting it to their own personal experience. Reading this has giving me a deeper connection to the Muslim religion.
I now understand that Ramadan is much more than just plain fasting, it incorporates faith, belief, spirituality and the love for humanity. It’s when believers strengthen their faith and spirituality while enhancing their sense of social justice. Next time someone asks me about Ramadan, I can answer “Ramadan is Generous” and I can explain that the Muslim’s holy month of Ramadan is just as meaningful as Lent is for the Catholics.