Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Ramadhan AlMubarak

Monday, September 1st, 2008

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The holy month of Ramadhan, when all Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk has just started.  

Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. An obligatory duty for all able Muslims.  It’s not exactly an easy feat, especially for those of us who did not start when we were young. Luckily my children have been fasting since they were 5 or 6, starting off with perhaps half a day of fasting. Now our children seamlessly move into fasting mode without too much difficulty, even the youngest girl, Ain. 

Fasting teaches us patience and humility, though the world of modern marketing has moved into this sector too. Hotels have what they call Ramdhan buffets, where they charge an arm and a leg for the meal at the breaking of the fast. 

The fasting month is full of benefits from the religious point of view. Any good that we do is multiplied many fold. The “satans” of the world are all chained up during this month and the only “temptations” that we succumb to is from our own internal conscience.  

The mosques are more crowded than on most other days of the year and many Muslims do more acts of charity during this month. 

The moment of the breaking of the fast is believed to be a time when our requests are more likely than not to be granted by God. And each Ramadhan we have 30 such times.  

For me, the fasting month has a very special significance. I had very little religious education whilst growing up and had never ever fasted a full fasting month, until the year I found religion.  

It was 1988 and I was facing what I thought was the bleakest future I could envisage. I immersed myself into religion and prayed fervently for the All Mighty to open the doors for me and to make things easy for me. This was the year, when for the first time in my life I fasted the whole 30 days and did as much of the additional prayers as I could.  

And boy, were the doors thrown wide open! 

Since then, I am ashamed to say that I have deteriorated from the religious point of view. This year, God Willing, I hope to focus on the fasting month and do all I can to make full use of the facilities God grants all of us Muslims.  

To all fellow Muslims, we wish them Ramdhan Al Mubarak!  

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