Muslims around the world began celebrating Ramadan at sunset last evening. The celebration lasting thirty days is a time for reflection, fasting, prayer, and community. It commemorates Muhammad’s first revelation and is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Ramadan is on different dates each year coinciding with the lunar calendar’s crescent moons.
Greetings To our Muslim friends during this holy time.
“Ramadan is, in its essence, a month of humanist spirituality.” Tariq Ramadan
Photos by Pixabay
Ramadan Mubarek (happy, blessed)
Sunday, May 5, 2019, marked the beginning Ramadan. In Islam, this is a month-long sacred time when we commemorate Allah, the Arabic name for God, giving the first verses of the Quran, the Muslim scripture, to the Prophet Muhammad in the year 610 A.D. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts 29 to 30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.
Much like the holy occasions of Lent for Christians or Yom Kippur in Judaism, Ramadan is a time of year when Muslims the world over reflect on their relationship with the divine. This reflection comes in the form of fasting, refraining from sinful behavior, engaging in service to the community, and, of course, prayer. It is a time of inward reflection and spiritual renewal intended to acknowledge our appreciation for God’s many blessings. It is also a time of celebration of our shared humanity on this earth.
Fasting, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, during Ramadan is required for observant Muslims. (The other pillars of worship are: the shahadah, which is the declaration of faith; salat, the five daily prayers; zakat, or almsgiving; and the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.) At sundown the daily Ramadan fast ends with the evening meal Iftar.
As we, a community of many faith traditions and cultures, commit ourselves to peace and compassion in this often confusing and hostile world, Muslim Americans for Compassion prays that all of us talk respectfully, treat others kindly, walk modestly, and pray sincerely. May these simple acts of compassion toward one another and toward ourselves infuse us all with the courage to overcome life’s adversities.
SOURCE: Muslim Americans for Compassion (MAC)
Graphic & Photo by Pixabay
The beautiful autumn leaves are gone and the deciduous trees look a bit like skeletons against the sky.
For many of us, our thoughts turn to indoor evergreens burdened with red and green or multi-colored lights and ornaments.
Decorations in your home may be blue, white and silver for Hanukkah or they may reflect a different tradition such as the celebration of first fruits which is Kwanzaa. Many European countries celebrate Boxing Day and each in a slightly different way. Ōmisoka is celebrated on the last day of December by the Japanese as the prelude or bridge to the New Year. Ramadan, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, may occur in December but will not again until 2030.
Celebrations are very personal depending on one’s country of origin, religious tradition or cultural preferences. We usually call such days “Holidays” whether or not they are official holidays in a particular country. The best way we can demonstrate love, show respect for others and be open to enlightenment is to not only share our values and beliefs but to try to understand those of others.
Greetings and Best Wishes
I feel good whether I’m wished Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings. The fact that someone is wishing me well is what is important. To me, the only appropriate response it to wish them well with any words that they have used. It isn’t the word that matters most, it is the thought, the wish, the greeting. When unsure what tradition another person celebrates it does not seem to me that an all-inclusive greeting (Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings) diminishes my personal tradition, which is Christmas.
So to the ninety-two followers of “Crooked Creek” and readers from thirty-five countries other than the United States, please allow me to wish you Happy Holidays filled with love and hope for a kind and peaceful world.