Muslims at Iftar celebration, Ramadan, Nerissa Hosein, Trinidad and Tobago.
Iftar celebration in Trinidad.

Ramadan reflection: Have I been a good Muslim?

By Nerissa Hosein. Fasting for me during Ramadan is not about abstaining from food. It is about having a clean mind and pure thoughts. It is a time of reflection where I think about my religion and my actions throughout the year. Have I been a good Muslim? Have I given as much as I could? I am not by any means perfect and I don’t keep the fast because of medical reasons. But I do believe in the purpose behind the month. This year, the moon was sighted on the night of Wednesday, May 16 which made Thursday, May 17 the first official fast for our community in Trinidad and Tobago. It is a very special time for my family.

Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?

I have been asked many times why Muslims fast during Ramadan. Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. It is our chance to show our faith in Allah and also to have empathy for others who are less fortunate in this world. Millions are starving daily and are going through hardships. Most of us can’t understand this, so for us to fast it helps put our lives in perspective and teaches us to be more mindful to those in need. In this time in our world with war and strife so prominent, I often wonder to myself, are we being the best we can be in our faith?

My son started to partake in the fasting

This year is extra special for me as my elder son started to partake in the fasting. I was worried because being in a tropical climate it is so hot and dehydration is a real concern for me. But he has held up well and his mind is determined to keep true to his faith. He reminds me of myself at his age when we watched our elders and emulated them. My husband has kept the fast with him and together they are enjoying this moment.

Iftar in our community

My father conducted his yearly Iftar this year. It is a night where we invite the Muslim community around us to come to our house and break their fast with food and sweets provided from us. It is important to remember as a Muslim if you cannot keep the fast, charity and feeding those who are fasting is a way to embrace the month of Ramadan.

I try to give and be humble by the world

After all, this month teaches us humility, charity and tolerance. They are all qualities that we as Muslims try to have. I am not a perfect Muslim but I believe in my faith and I try to give and be humble by the world we live in. The month of Ramadan usually goes by too fast and comes to an end with the sighting of the new moon. Then we celebrate Eid. It is the biggest event in the Muslim calendar. We are almost through the month already and soon we will be saying goodbye to Ramadan. Hopefully, we will make it to see another and we will become stronger in our faith.

So from my home to yours Ramadan Mubarak!

June 2018

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