What is Ramadan? – All about deep reflection, devotion, and community

ramadan table night
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What is Ramadan? – All about deep reflection, devotion, and community

women at Milton Muslim Neighbors

Courtesy photo: Women at Muslim Neighbors Ramadan

Ramadan is a month-long period of fasting, prayer, and reflection observed by Muslims around the world. This year, Ramadan begins on March 22 and ends on April 21. During this time, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn until sunset. But Ramadan is much more than just a period of abstention. It is a time for deep reflection, devotion, and community.

In the Milton area, over 50 Muslim families practice fasting during the month of Ramadan. The Milton Muslim Neighbors (MMN), part of the Milton Interfaith Association (MICA) and Milton Change Maker, hosts an annual Ramadan Iftar that is open to all Muslims and non-Muslims. This event includes a brief talk and activities for kids, and was held at Cunningham hall on Sunday, March 26. The MMN also runs an annual food drive in collaboration with all Milton Public School, First Parish, and Congregation of Beth Shalom, and donations go to Quincy Interfaith for people in need.

The Select Board of Milton will also hang five light strings at Manning Park during the Month of Ramadan. It will go all across the pedestrian side from Adam to Granite St. The front light string will be” Happy Ramadan & Eid” light banner with stars and crescent moon and a total of 378 feet of strings that reflect the joy of the Holy month. These activities showcase the sense of community that is so integral to the month of Ramadan.

Henna hand decoration for kids/women traditional during Ramadan/Eid

Courtesy photo: Henna hand decoration for kids/women traditional during Ramadan/Eid

For Muslims, Ramadan is a time to strengthen their relationship with Allah (God) and reflect on their own spiritual journey. Through fasting, prayer, and acts of charity, Muslims seek to purify their hearts and minds and become closer to Allah. The fast is not just about abstaining from food and drink, but also from negative thoughts and behaviors. It is a time to focus on positive actions, such as kindness, generosity, and forgiveness.

Ramadan is also a time for community. Muslims often gather in mosques or community centers to break their fast together in the evening. This meal, called iftar, is often a festive occasion, with families and friends coming together to share food and conversation.

After Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long fast. This is followed by Eid al-Adha, which commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. Both Eids are joyous occasions where Muslims come together to pray, share food, and exchange gifts.

While the physical demands of fasting can be challenging, many Muslims find that Ramadan is a time of great spiritual growth and renewal. It is a time to reconnect with one’s faith, one’s community, and one’s self. As we approach the start of Ramadan, let us embrace this opportunity to reflect, to give, and to grow. Ramadan Mubarak!

For more information, visit www.miltonmuslims.org

Contributed by Milton resident Amal Kimawi. 

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