To anyone outside of Islam, Ramadan is basically the month muslims doesn’t eat. Ramadan has since long been equated with fasting but if you’re muslim you know it’s so much more.
Apart from the basics of taking the time to reflect and cleanse oneself physically as well as spiritually, Ramadan is a time that is deeply connected with close and meaningful relationships with like-minded.
If you’re muslim and have been living in a society that itself is not Islamic, you know how it feels to be put on the spot. The constant questioning of how difficult it must be to walk around hungry, the “not even water”-remarks, the looks and stares and awkwardness that comes with it have surrounded muslims during Ramadan for ages. So to be around other muslims or even just people that have enough of a understanding of Islam to know that Ramadan is so much more than fasting (or refusal of food as some also see it) becomes such an intimate and important part of Ramadan.
For many muslims, Ramadan is a time for family and friends. A time when you share a deep and spiritual event together, among people that share love, compassion and faith with each other. There is something very special with going to the mosque with your loved ones during Ramadan, to share Iftar (the breaking of the fast at sundown) and praying taraweh at night or waking up in the middle of the night to share Suhur (preparing for the fast by eating before sunrise).
The routines and the simplicity of it all soothes the soul to an extent that really makes you feel that we are all just specks in the universe, each one connected to each other and to Allah.
So naturally, during the pandemic, many of the beautiful and intangible parts of Ramadan was lost due to restrictions of not being able to come together. Instead of sharing Ramadan with our extended families and friends, we had to minimize our contacts making Ramadan feel more lonesome than what we were used to. Going to the mosque was not possible for all of us in order to stay healthy and the muslim community that is ordinarily a large and very warm one, was much smaller, much lonelier.
That’s why Ramadan 2022 is so important for all muslims around the world. The effects of the pandemic has truly made muslims all around the world humble to simple things that we used to take for granted. The luxury of getting together and how invaluable it is to not be left alone are just some of the important lessons we have learned from Covid.
This Ramadan will not just be a time for cleanse and reflection, it will be a time for appreciation for our loved ones. And most of all an appreciation for the connections we have in our muslim communities. After having spent nearly two years in isolation, finally being able to share the beauty of Ramadan together again makes this year so very special.