Ramadan serves as a reminder of the importance of compassion and empathy towards others

Published: 11 March 2024

By Misba Ahmed

Ramadan is a sacred month in the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. It is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the fundamental acts of worship.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, refraining from food, drink, smoking, and other physical needs. Fasting is not merely abstaining from these activities but also a time for spiritual reflection, self-discipline, and an opportunity to strengthen one’s relationship with Allah.

The significance of Ramadan lies not only in the physical act of fasting but also in the spiritual growth it fosters. Muslims believe that during this month, the gates of heaven are open, and the gates of hell are closed, and the devils are chained. It is a time for believers to seek forgiveness for past sins, to practice self-control, and to develop empathy for those less fortunate.

One of the essential teachings of Ramadan is the emphasis on spreading goodwill and kindness to others, including neighbours. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of treating neighbours with kindness and compassion, regardless of their faith or background. He said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbour.”

The spirit of generosity and compassion extends beyond fasting and prayer during Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to engage in acts of charity and community service, including feeding the hungry, helping the needy, and reaching out to those who may be isolated or marginalised. By fostering a sense of unity and solidarity within communities, Ramadan serves as a reminder of the importance of compassion and empathy towards others.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in a hadith recorded in Sunan al-Tirmidhī 616: “Fear Allah your Lord, pray your five prayers, fast your month of Ramadan, give charity from your wealth, and obey those in authority over you. You will enter the Paradise of your Lord.” This hadith highlights the importance of fulfilling religious obligations, including fasting during Ramadan, and practising charity and obedience to authority.

In addition to spiritual and moral development, Ramadan also strengthens social bonds within communities. Muslims often gather for iftar, the meal to break the fast at sunset, where friends, family, and neighbours come together to share food and fellowship. These communal gatherings promote unity, solidarity, and a sense of belonging among believers.

Prioritising mental health is very important.

If someone is having mental health issues, it’s vital for them to reach out for help.

They can talk to a trusted friend, family member, or mental health professional, and consider seeking therapy or counselling.

It’s also important to take part in self-care activities, such as getting enough sleep, being active, and practicing relaxation techniques like prayer.

During Ramadan, it’s very important for sisters to ensure they stay mentally healthy.

I also like to say that our community is going through a hard time, so if you can give food to foodbanks (as much as you can) then that can take some pressure of sisters who may not be as fortunate. Limiting the amount of food we make and reducing work will also assist in this

In conclusion, Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection, self-discipline, and community engagement. It is a time for Muslims to deepen their faith, seek forgiveness, and cultivate empathy towards others, including neighbours. By observing the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and practising acts of kindness and charity, Muslims strive to embody the values of compassion, generosity, and goodwill during this sacred month.