Khalfan bin Mohammed stresses that fasting is not a time of suffering, as many people think. It is just the opposite. Here is its essence:
- In the month of Ramadan, the Quran was sent down to be guidance for the mankind. Through reading the Quran, we gain understanding about the purpose of our life and learn, how to establish relationship with Allah and His creatures.
- It is a time for getting closer to Allah through prayers, recitation of the Quran, and supplications.
- We fast to appreciate the luxury of food, which is a gift that many people around the world are lacking. There are those who go without proper food for weeks and months.
- It is the time of the year, when we give our stomachs an annual break by reducing and regulating our food intake.
- It is an opportunity to break free from bad habits and addictions. Many people use this period to stop smoking and eating unhealthy food.
- It is a wonderful feeling to know that over one thousand million people are participating in this school of discipline – fasting and breaking their fasts together. It is a true demonstration of brotherhood and a proof that Muslims can be united.
- The month of Ramadan is an opportunity to develop the qualities of endurance and self-restraint as well as to strive for controlling anger and a malicious tongue.
- Ramadan is a time for awakening compassion and solidarity with others, particularly with the poor. We are encouraged to be generous during Ramadan and at the end of fasting, are required to give Zakat Al-Fitr, a fixed amount, which enables all to share the spirit of warmth, affection, and brotherhood.
- Ramadan is a time of charity and fellowship, so deeply respected that even the most casual ones in their faith become observant throughout this holy month.
- Above all, Ramadan is an opportunity to return to the Creator and the natural path of goodness, purity, and faithfulness. In doing so, one must not use fasting as an excuse for lazing around and neglecting basic duties at school or at work.
Finally, living according to the above principles requires courage and determination. So why not plan to make this Ramadan a very special one?