By: Ashley Rose
Ramadan, a Holy month, is a four-week period of spiritual growth for Muslims. During this period, participating Muslims abstain from physical items, such as water and food, as well as improve their emotional and intellectual processes by abstaining from immoral behaviors including gossiping, lying and using foul language.
While this is an annual practice that some Muslims choose to participate in, many people do not know Ramadan exists, let alone how to support anyone going through the spiritual experience. Understanding what Ramadan is and how to support someone going through the process can make you a better co-worker, friend, and person.
Depending on what part of the world they live in, some Muslims must fast for upwards of 17 hours or in triple-digit temperatures. This can be a very exhausting process and can take a heavy toll on someone physically and mentally, especially as the end of the day approaches.
Patience and empathy can go a long way. While Muslims are expected to keep up with their usual daily life during this time, offering extra patience with someone who you notice may be lacking some energy can benefit them physically and emotionally.
“One of the best ways a friend could support me during Ramadan is simply just checking in, such as asking how my fast is going or asking if I ate after the fast is over,” Nawal Samdani, freshman, said
Another way to support a friend in Ramadan is by being positively present for someone. This can include cooking them a meal for Iftar, the breaking of their fast, or by joining them for the meal when invited. Positive presence also includes understanding the importance of Ramadan to those around you.
“It’s not just about abstaining ourselves from food and water. It’s a time where Muslims all over the world develop a greater spiritual connection with God and engage deeply with our faith through more prayers, good deeds and overall personal reflection,” Samdani said.
Understanding the importance of this Holy month and supporting those participating around you encourages more spiritual growth and builds a better relationship with that person.