Genesis 11:5

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. Genesis 11:5

Fresh and Whole

I'm feeling thirsty, and a bit weak in the knees. I heard a profound point today regarding the physical sensations associated with Ramadan: 
"Imagine the hunger and thirst we are feeling right now, unfortunately this is normal for our brothers and sisters around the world. Let us dig deep in our pockets and sponsor food packages for our brothers and sisters over the world."
At the same time, one feels happiness in the midst of the obedience and discipline. I've been blessed this week with a lighter teaching schedule, so I'm passing my afternoons praying and reading Quran in the mosque. Now that I've learned the full Tashahhud in Arabic (concluding prayer of 5 daily prayers) and how to pray Taraweeh (night prayers of Ramadan) at home, I feel that I'm fasting Ramadan more fully than last year. I smile when I meet other Muslims on the subway or pass them in the street - we exchange greetings of peace, and revel in the sense of solidarity. I'm inspired by every slideshow I see of Muslims from the United States to London, England to Khartoum, Sudan to Riyadh, Saudia Arabia to Delhi, India to Afghanistan fasting the holy month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan provides a surge of motivation and strong sense of focus on the Quran, improving our behaviour, and making generosity a habit. I was fortunate to purchase fresh Saudi dates from my fruit vendor today. He sold them to me for barely anything above the wholesale price. We know that Allah rewards the one who feeds a fasting Muslim Iftar (meal for breaking the fast). May Allah reward him.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Oh people! If any of you arranges Iftar for any believer, Allah will reward you as if you freed a slave, and Allah will forgive your sins."
The month of Ramadan is ridden with constant reminders of Allah's mercy and forgiveness, which are offered readily in response to our submission in fasting and prayer. I pray very desperately for peace in Syria this Ramadan. I pray for peace in Palestine. I pray that the world's resources will be more and more evenly distributed between people of every colour, race, ethnicity, and creed, eliminating the gap between the rich and the poor.
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

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