Wednesday , October 18 2017

Ramadan … beyond just fasting

Tarek Aleryan
Tarek Aleryan

As we celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan this year, we have an unusual phenomenon with the whole world somehow focused on Islam. We have gone from the negative comments of Donald Trump and the fear of terrorism to the positive ideals of the new mayor of London and the life of a most famous convert, Mohammed Ali. We know in detail about all these news items, but there are many more aspects of Islam on display for the world to see.

How surprised were you to see people trying to walk all the way through Europe to reach Germany — men, women, children, even the old and infirm? It was amazing, and they were so cheerful under such difficult conditions. Their religious beliefs and resulting strong moral values gave them the courage to go forward as jobs and housing were being offered. And, did you notice how clean and well-groomed those people were? Even with little to wash with, their religious training on cleanliness, a part of Islam, helped them maintain high standards. Through these images the world witnessed the strong family ties, the moral courage and physical well-being of Muslims.

The Internet is now full of articles about Muslims. There is a Facebook site which tells of heroic Muslims throughout history. There are also news and magazine articles telling of present-day heroic Muslims.

Now that Ramadan is here, there is world-wide interest in the way Muslims celebrate this special month. There are many stories of family gatherings and social get-togethers for this is a period rejoicing in community activities and friendliness. Since Ramadan is a time of fasting, the food to break the fast and the rituals involved become of interest. Muslims from different parts of the world have written blogs describing their customs, their foods and activities over this period. In Germany some stories were told of Germans teaching refugees their national dishes as the refugees did the same for the Germans showing them how to cook their national dishes.

In other countries the refugees had to adjust to foreign eating habits and new national dishes. Still, keeping Ramadan remained important for all Muslims wherever they were.

Another important part of Ramadan involves charitable activities, and in this Kuwaitis excel both individually and as groups through companies and organizations, many of which provide free Ramadan meals for the poor. Kuwait has also provided Ramadan food for various refugee camps in the area. Some very courageous Kuwaitis have also been involved in the distribution of Ramadan dinners to Yemenis in dangerous locations.

Seeing all these good happenings involving Muslims makes me proud of my heritage and makes me want to do my best to become a better Muslim. I hope all these available sources give others a better understanding of Islam so that they realize that Islam is not a religion of terrorism. For me, getting together with others to share in the joy of Ramadan is a special blessing and makes my life so much fuller.

By Tarek Aleryan

TV Announcer & Producer

 

 

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