For Muslims around the world, the blessed month of Ramadan started on Wednesday, March 22nd. It is a month of intense spiritual consciousness and purification of the heart. We don’t just abstain from food and water, we also abstain from anything that could distract us from His remembrance, and we increase in all those actions that draw us closer to God.
One of the pillars of this month is donating to those who are less fortunate and whose everyday reality is hunger and poverty. This pillar is especially close to our hearts because helping refugees who have lost everything is so important to us.
Imagining what it is like for refugees who are observing Ramadan away from home is heartbreaking. We think about all the things we do to observe this holy month that many refugees cannot do.
Our own traditions in this month are looking for the moon, having iftar outside, decorating our homes for our families, and getting our hearts and minds ready for this spiritually intense month. As a mom of two, Komal enjoys having her kids help decorate for this month.
Here are some pictures from last year's Ramadan, you can see us preparing an iftar together, the home mosque Komal made for the kids, and a sunset we enjoyed together overlooking the water.
Although the time in which we observe our fast is from sunrise to sunset, the nights are typically spent in prayer as the night symbolizes a unique portion in which prayers are answered. The last ten nights in particular are said to be incredibly blessed as Muslims search for the night of power during these nights. According to Islam, the power of prayer on the night of power is said to be greater than a thousand nights of worship.
Ultimately, some of the goals of Ramadan are to carry out good habits and self-discipline, and to keep in our consciousness those who are less fortunate. This is what inspired us to become refugee advocates and work with USA for UNHCR last year around Ramadan. Today, as USA for UNHCR Refugee Champions, we encourage anyone reading this to consider donating to help refugees and other people who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, violence and persecution. For more information, please visit: UNrefugees.org