Ramadan and the power of self-reflection

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Mohammed Mohebi explains why Ramadan gives Muslems a special time for self-purification, self-restraint and inner reflection.

At Mohebi Logistics we endeavour to look beyond the immediate needs of our clients, suppliers and co-workers and offer them understanding and support for the longer-term. After all, it is the more spiritual aspects that bind people together.

Charity is very important in Islam, and even more so during Ramadan. According to tradition, Ramadan is a particularly blessed time to give to charity and so, as an individual and a business, it is important for us to see how we can be more charitable in this Holy Month.

While most of the modern world functions within the Gregorian calendar, created by decree of Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, and the Gregorian (Western) calendar is globally accepted for international and civil usage, Islam still uses the ancient lunar calendar for religious observation. Judaism and Christianity use a combination of lunar and solar calendar for theirs, with an evolution towards absolute Gregorian dates in Christianity for some holy days like Christmas and not others like Easter.

Over the course of 34 years, Ramadan moves completely around the Gregorian calendar, with its only concession to modernity being an agreement that astronomical data replaces human eye-witnesses around the world to determine the first date. Ramadan was first celebrated during the summer months, and its name is derived from an Arabic root denoting intense heat.

It is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. In the Qur’an, Allah proclaims that “fasting has been written down as obligatory upon you, as it was upon those before you.” It is believed that “those before you” refers to the Judaic tradition of fasting for Yom Kippur.

The injunction to ritual fasting evolved into a month-long period of fasting during the daylight hours while Muslims were also expected to engage in spiritual reflection and worship. It is supposed to be a time when observant Muslims renew their understanding of their faith, through a complete re-reading of the Qur’an and gathering for more intense prayer services than usual. During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to avoid obscene and irreligious sights, sounds and activities.

The act of fasting is intended to direct people’s energies to purity, self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and charity to those less fortunate. One is expected to participate in the fasting upon reaching puberty, so long as one is healthy, sane and not suffering from any disability or illness. The elderly and the ill are expected to help feed the poor in place of their own fasting, while the mentally ill are exempt from this act of charity.

Ramadan is a time for putting away worldly activities and devoting oneself to Allah. It is a time for self-reform, spiritual enlightenment and cleansing, and the renewal of the personal link between person and Allah. A time of giving and sharing, Ramadan should be celebrated with charity, good deeds, kindness and care for others.

So, I wish you all Ramadan Kareem and may we all use this occasion to better ourselves and bring a better quality of brotherhood, friendship and equality to the people in our lives.

Ramadan Kareem,

Mohammed Mohebi, CEO