So begins the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims when we fast from dawn until sunset with no food or water. As it happens every year, Ramadan starts around 10-12 days sooner than it did the previous year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and begins and ends with the new moon.
Some people started fasting today (if any of you all are reading, I hope your first fast went well!) but for those of us who go by a physical sighting of the new moon, our first fast is tomorrow. Many Muslims make it a practice to search for the new moon while some of us just sit back and wait for the mosque to make an announcement as to when Ramadan starts. I’m usually in that latter category. This time around though, even though Ramadan is set for tomorrow regardless, my family and I tried searching for the moon and were actually able to spot it. I couldn’t believe how thin the crescent was:
(Can you see it)
I’m definitely looking forward to the first fast tomorrow, mostly because sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to be more appreciative of Ramadan. Don’t get me wrong, I never had any issues with fasting during this holy month but I had a different attitude back when I was a teenager rather than I do right now.
Before, my attitude was such that I’m Muslim, I fast, all good.
Now, I have a different mindset when it comes to fasting. I realize what a huge honor and privilege it is to fast for my religion, to have the capability to not eat or drink from dawn until sunset. Some people are not quite as lucky and have to forgo fasting because of one reason or another.
I always try to have some goals that I set for myself every Ramadan. I don’t quite want to share them all this time since I usually fall short, but one thing I will share is that this year, I would like to make a conscious effort to simply be more grateful for everything around me and all that I have.
So here it is: InshAllah, I pledge to be more grateful this Ramadan and to also be cognizant of what I already have. I’m grateful for my mom, my siblings, and the nephews and nieces, grateful for family in general. I’m grateful for my friends who understand that I may not be a joy to hang out with during Ramadan. I’m grateful for my coworkers who had lunch with me today at the halal Afghani restaurant in Oakland for my last lunch before I start fasting. I’m grateful for my coffee buddy who joined me for my last daytime mocha this afternoon.
I’m grateful that I’m here and and can fast this Ramadan.
InshAllah, may all of us fully partake in all of the blessings this month has to offer and have an awesome Ramadan.
One last pic, my nephew looking for the moon: