It’s Ramadan season and it’s no secret that this month comes as a relief for all of us in different ways. Where office goers are looking forward to those early offs and traffic free routes back home, diet watchers are looking for natural health regime, foodies are excited about the buffet and All-You-can-eat scenes, celebrities waiting to make the cash of a lifetime and TV channels soaring the ratings high, but very importantly, most of us look forward to rekindle the lost sense of spirituality.
Ramadan is not just about fasting and praying – there’s a lot more learning in it for all of us that can dramatically improve our lifestyle in general,
Waking up pre-dawn and going to bed early keeps us fresh and in accordance to nature’s cycle. Early breakfasts and dinners ensure a systematic flow of energy in our body and the fasts allow a considerable gap between meals that are necessary for digestion of food. Since not many distractions are at hand, (as most are prohibited during a fast), prayers are said on time unlike regular days and ample time is at hand to be used positively for either community work or self improvement. Thus the entire lifestyle falls into a beautiful order instead of the usual chaos we get trapped into.
GETTING IN SHAPE
As mentioned above, timely eating habit gives the body ample time to digest food. Since the stomach is empty for most part of the day, your system draws its energy by consuming any extra fat, if there is, from the body, thus reducing inches (unless of course, you go maniacal on food at Iftar). It’s a great time for those looking to curb their binge – eating habits, like myself. A light Ramadan suitable workout also helps a great deal in making a difference and keeping you active throughout.
SPIRITUAL CONNECTION & LEARNING
For those of us who sadly get lost in the rut of life, Ramadan is a beacon of hope to rekindle that spiritual bond with the Supreme being and set our everyday religious duties on track. Regular recitation of the Holy Quran and other scriptures helps us brush up our knowledge of Islamic history and it’s essence. Every prayer made during this month has rewards manifold hence meditations in solace (or groups) turn out to be very calming and rewarding
Generally Pakistan is one of the most charitable nations around the world and this number spikes Up 60-70 % higher specifically in the month of Ramadan as the core essence of fasting is to vicariously feel the hunger of less fortunate people in the society. It’s about being compassionate and feeling towards others people’s problems and lending a helping hand. Large distribution of food, charity and compulsory Zakat (2.5% of all eligible wealth) helps bridge the gap between poverty and abundance. Small gestures of kindness mean a lot more in this month than ever and is a constant reminder to continue these deeds throughout the year and not just Ramadan.
Absence of food in the stomach humbles our egos and subdues pride, making us thankful for all blessings, big and small. The waiting time from sunrise to sunset during a fast instills patience and humility and gratitude. The fact that it’s a holy practice, we even abide by certain rules and avoid all those actions that would in any way affect the fast, such as getting into fights, swearing or simply being unkind.
Ramadan only comes as a gentle reminder for all these points above to be carried forward and practiced on a daily basis. Whether it’s connecting to God regularly, giving your life a disciplined routine, adopting a healthy diet, controlling greed, keeping a check on whims, building a patient and thankful character or just being empathetic towards others … Ramadan puts everything in place.