Ramadan observances become more prevalent among LCSNW staff, clients
The early weeks of spring mark the holiest season of the year for many LCSNW staff members and clients from different faith groups. For Christians, Holy Week includes Good Friday on April 7 and Easter Sunday on April 9. For Jews, Passover this year runs from Wednesday April 5 to Thursday April 13. For Muslims, Ramadan began Wednesday March 22 and lasts until Thursday April 20.
We wish for a blessed and fulfilling time of year for all.
Ramadan is observed by a growing number of LCSNW staff and yet it may be the least understood. Many thanks to Leen Saheb, an LCSNW Program Director in Beaverton, Oregon, for sharing her family’s experience below.
Ramadan ‘inspires me to be a better person’
By Leen Saheb
Ramadan is a month-long Islamic festival that is observed by Muslims all over the world. It is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. It begins and ends with the appearance of the new crescent moon.
As a Muslim, Ramadan holds a special place in my heart because of many factors. First of all, it brings together family and friends. Secondly, it is a time of spiritual reflection, renewal, good deeds and a time to strengthen my relationship with Allah. Finally, fasting is beneficial to the body and helps it to detox.
The act of fasting from dawn until sunset is a reminder to me of the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us, and it helps us to appreciate the simple things in life.
During Ramadan, there is a sense of community and oneness with other Muslims around the world. We all come together to break our fast at sunset. In every community people share meals with one another and they all break their fasts at the exact same time. The acts of charity and giving to those in need also peak in Ramadan.
I personally read the Quran more frequently during Ramadan, and I am always amazed by the beauty and wisdom contained within its pages. The words of the Quran inspire me to be a better person and to strive for dedication and good intention in all that I do.
Fasting during Ramadan can be a challenging experience, particularly since we are not allowed to eat and drink, not even water during the day. However, I find that having a meal before dawn, known as Suhoor, helps me to stay full and energized throughout the day. Waking up early in the morning to have Suhoor with my husband and kids is a special time for us, and it sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.
After Ramadan is over we have Eid al-Fitr, which is a time of celebration and joy, and it is a reward for the hard work and dedication that Muslims put into Ramadan. My family and I look forward to Eid, spending time together and with friends, sharing meals and exchanging gifts.
Overall, Ramadan is a time of spiritual growth and self-reflection for me and my family and Muslims around the world. It is a reminder of the blessings in my life, and it inspires me to be a better person.
Leen Saheb is a Program Manager and Oregon Health Plan Certified Community Partner in the LCSNW office in Beaverton, Oregon. Leen immigrated to the U.S. from Jordan and is a licensed Qualified Medical Interpreter who speaks Arabic.