by Ayoub Taalabi
Today marks Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and helping the community. Ramadan begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. Abstaining from eating and drinking during that period.
Ramadan for me is a month to purify our hearts, seek forgiveness, and focus on self-discipline. This gives me the opportunity to segregate from common delights and look inward on my internal identity. This allows me to be more in touch with my spiritual side and to be grateful for everything I have.
My favorite month of the year
Ramadan is the greatest month of the year for me because I feel closer to my soul. Being busy with finishing up my senior year of high school, working and my internship, this is a dedicated time that I get to contact with my internal self. A time to “pause” and just be myself. This is also an important time to be with family, either if it is on “iftar” (a meal taken by Muslims at sundown to break the daily fast during Ramadan) or in the mosque.
Benefits beyond the spiritual
Ramadan have a lot of health benefits. For instance, fasting can help with brain function, sleep and can help to improve cholesterol levels and metabolism efficiency.
However, Ramadan teaches you how to patient and grateful. During that period of fasting, you will feel what it is like to suffer.
My personal experience
Since moving to New York from Morocco, Ramadan has been a different experience for me (especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit). In Morocco, a big part of the Ramadan celebration is with family and I miss that. However, it makes me appreciate them all the more.
Also, I find myself a lot busier living here in New York. All in all, I know that I am headed to great things and will honor that during the Ramadan celebration.