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The Spiritual Meaning of Ramadan for Families

The Spiritual Meaning of Ramadan for Families

When most people think of Ramadan, they tend to only think of the fasting aspect of it and overlook the very significant spiritual side of it. They might think happily of the shorter working days and shorter school hours as well, which is all good, but there is so much more to Ramadan than that. Ramadan is the holiest of months in Islam because that is when the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. To celebrate that, it became the month when Muslims fast from dawn till dusk, are encouraged to read the Quran from start to finish, and to spend time in spiritual and self-reflection.

The essence of Ramadan is to connect. 

It is one month of the year when you reconnect with yourself, your family and your God.

In this day and age, everyone is rushing about in their lives. Parents are working and taking care of their homes and families. Children are rushing between school, homework, and other activities. Everyone is so focused on different things leaving no time for family. Gathering together for a family meal might be skipped for days, and maybe even weeks. 

Ramadan is a chance to organize time for all family members. The custom is that everyone gathers together during Iftar time, and sits for a meal all together. Once sunset is nearby, everyone is hungry and waiting together to break their fast all at once. This gives your family an opportunity to catch up, enjoy each other, and to connect with one another.

As your family gathers together for the meal, both adults and children learn a lot. They learn to appreciate family, food and water. This teaches us all to be grateful for all the blessings surrounding us. This also helps us reflect on the reality of how lucky we are while people all around the world suffer from hunger.

In a world of instant gratification and impatience, Ramadan brings self-discipline and humility.

To not eat or drink from dawn till dusk is a huge challenge. Especially the years when Ramadan falls during the summer months. Whether children are fasting or not, they are aware of others fasting. They begin to understand the challenges of humility and self-discipline.

The virtue of patience is highlighted in this month. It is seen when ill speech, arguments, loss of tempers and bad behavior must be avoided. Manners are paramount. Both parents and children have to be especially patient with each other. They learn to speak to each other and everyone else with kindness and respect.

Charity is also an integral part of Ramadan. 

All members of the family can take advantage of this time to go through their old stuff and donate them. Be it clothes, books or toys. Anything that they haven’t used in a long time or have outgrown. It gives parents and children alike the opportunity to appreciate everything they have and be grateful for it.

Ramadan is a great time to encourage your children to read about Islam.

Your children can read about the stories of the prophets and moral stories. Reading and discussing books with them opens up an essential dialogue between yourself and your child. This bonding activity includes sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions. Families having open and verbal discussions and communications can be a rarity in this digital age.

In this month of such spiritual engagement and enlightenment, your values as a family are cemented, highlighted and shared. Most hours at work and school are shortened during this month. Families are given the priceless gift of time to spend harmoniously together. This will help all families bond and realize the true meaning and value of family. Ramadan gives us all gifts in the form of time to help us reconnect with our loved ones. We can all spend this time enjoying and appreciating each other. It takes people back to the basics of simple pleasures – a great meal, a good conversation surrounded by loved ones.

It is a time to slow down and take stock of everything and everyone in your life. This is a  time to be more forgiving and understanding. A time to be kind to yourself and to others. And to be grateful and appreciative. A time of charity and generosity.

Ramadan is Generous. Ramadan Kareem from Team Mumzworld.