Ramadan is a month where our ability to feel compassion and empathy for each other is heightened. The heart is softened through the fasting during the day and the long prayers at night. Even if you, like me, don’t yet understand what is being recited in the taraweeh prayers, just listening to the recitation of the Quran has a softening effect on the heart. This softening leads us to be more lenient with those we love and to give and forgive without any hesitation. It also leads us to understand where someone else is coming from and to look at things from their perspective which in turn leads us to improve our relationships with people. We are less likely to resort to blame when a problem arises and more likely to seek to understand people’s unique perspective and work out a compromise.
The fasting in Ramadan automatically slows down your life and more importantly your thoughts. The decreased energy from fasting means you are less likely to jump from one thought to the next without thoroughly thinking about whether this thought helps you in life. This plays a role in us paying attention to what we are thinking and fixing our thinking process if necessary. Not all our thoughts are productive or positive. The fasting in Ramadan allows you to slow down enough to pay attention to those thoughts that are harmful to our character and overall growth and further pushes us to replace those thoughts with genuine positive ones.
It only takes a couple of days of not eating to realize how much informational junk our minds take in on a daily basis. In this age of technology and social media there is so much useless information our mind are use to absorbing leading to a cluttered brain and unfocused lives. Ramadan teaches us again what is useful and what is not. I am able to see how ridiculous that show was that I binge watched or how some articles I read make no sense and are not worth my time. Ramadan teaches us that the Quran is useful, the seerah is useful, pursuing your passions is useful, mending your family relationships is useful and the list goes on. The taqwa that is attained in Ramadan pushes our consciousness to judge if the action I am doing is helping or hurting my deen and/or my dunya and this in turn makes us realize what actions I should pursue and which I should leave.
This month is one where emotions become controlled. That anger problem you had before? Well there is no energy anymore to get angry. Little things that use to make us upset or sad no longer do because the mind is sharp to realize that those were petty things that don’t deserve our focus. Our focus goes automatically towards gratitude, and positive thinking. All the sudden things that we used to take so seriously before we can find humor in it now and laugh at it. This is the month where my husband and I laugh the most at our kids’ shenanigans. Whereas before I would have days where I took life too seriously and thought I was a failed parent if my kids acted uh……… well like kids. 🙂 Alhamdullilah this month rebuilds that humor and the fasting controls our emotions so we are able to see a situation for what it is without putting our emotions into it.