Many people are perhaps aware that Muslims are currently experiencing the most sacred month of the year, known as Ramadan. This is a month of mercy, charity, activism, and personal and spiritual growth. This is a month where Muslims spend extra time helping the less fortunate, praying in mosques with friends and family, and overall, worshiping. It is a month of fasting and celebration because it is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, in its finality, to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
However, there is a more Quranic-nuanced discussion about Ramadan that I’d like to share with you. When God first talks about Ramadan in the Qur’an, He uses only one describing factor. He does not choose to call it the month of fasting, nor the month of worship, or mercy, but rather He chooses to describe it as the month in which the Qur’an was revealed for guidance. Ramadan is a month in which we not only increase our worship and generosity, but also a month in which we build a special connection with the Qur’an.
This sacred text was not authored nor inspired by any human being, but rather it was divinely inspired directly to Muhammad (PBUH) from God Himself. For this reason and many more, we hold the Qur’an to the highest esteem. This is literally, word for word, letter by letter, the speech of God.
The Qur’an has always been a marvel since its revelation: it has been a text that when people would hear its verses, they would be forced to acknowledge that these words can only be from God. Apart from its scientific or literary miracles that we know of, it is a book of guidance for those who seek it.
Beyond anything else, as a Muslim, I see Ramadan as a time in which I can work extra hard to build a stronger and more meaningful relationship with God. Ramadan is that month of the year that going above and beyond is somehow easier (despite fasting during summer days). This is why it is a time in which Muslims are motivated to go the extra few miles. It is a time in which Muslims work to establish good habits and get rid of bad ones.
Ramadan to me is a time when we go back to our roots: God. It is a month in which we spend time with His Book, commit ourselves to actions that He Loves, be extra-generous to His creation, and ultimately reconnect with Him. There is a fundamental belief in the Islamic tradition that we, as mankind, came from God and we will undoubtedly return back to Him. Ramadan is a time to strengthen our connection with the One from Whom we came.
I hope and pray that my Muslim friends are taking benefit of this sacred month, and that my non-Muslim friends are taking an extra step to learn more about our beautiful tradition!