Ramadaan: Time for guarding of the soul
Ramadaan is once again with us, evoking excitement, and anticipation about this Holy Month in Islam. The very thought of Ramadaan conjures up images of a splendid month of fasting and guarding of the soul, highlighted by extra visits to the mosque and a general spirit of well-wishing, charity and generosity.
For Muslims around the world, this month brings with it experiences they savour for the rest of the year. As we end Ramadaan, the holiest month for the world’s more than 1.8 billion Muslims, we recognise what a difficult year it has been. Kashmir, Somalia and Syria are being torn apart by civil war and sectarian violence.
Afghanistan, one of the world’s most poorest Muslim countries, is teetering on the edge. And the United States, France and Zionist Israel are making noises about attacking Iran. The Arab Spring has also opened up new opportunities for the oppressed peoples. Muslims are demanding political and socio-economic change throughout the Arab and Muslim world.
In the wake of these challenges, Muslims seek and find strength in Ramadaan. Over the course of 30 days, from sunrise to sunset, we refrain from food and drink and refocus on strengthening our faith. It is a time of renewal, but also of reflection on the self and its broader surroundings. Ramadaan is a month of intense spiritual training, patience and charity for Muslims, but it is also a month of solidarity with those who are suffering oppression, injustice, exploitation and poverty.
Muslims and freedom-loving people around the globe remember and in stand in solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people, the Uighur Muslims of Eastern China, the Yemeni people who are suffering human rights abuses, the Afghans, Syrian, Libyans and the exploited peoples in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Ramadaan is a time when we hear and answer the cries of the oppressed and exploited. It also a time to share our religious and cultural heritage with our Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist friends and neighbours.
* Samaoen Osman, Crawford.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.
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