Friday, August 17, 2007

All Most That Time Of Year Again

Well , it is getting close to that time of year again , I am talking about the Muslim month of Ramadan . It is less than one month away now . It is a lunar month in the Islamic calendar . There are either 29 days or 30 days in this month depending on the moon . During this month Muslims the world over fast , abstain from eating , drinking , profanity , bad thoughts , sex ,possibly other things I have forgotten, and bad deeds a little before sunrise until sunset . The purpose of the fast is to cleans and purify the soul , mind, and body of all toxic build up that is acquired during the year . Muslims are commanded to contemplate Allah / God , to read His Word that was given to mankind through the prophet Mohamed , and to fast during this time.

It is a holy time obviously , but also a wonderful family time . Many family's come to gather for Ramadan more than they do during the year . They share their meals at sunset . These meals maybe more of a feast than a normal meal . All kinds of delicacies are prepared that you won't find all year around .They visit one another . They laugh . They pray . They enjoy each other's company . It's sorta like a combined Thanksgiving , Christmas ( minus the presents , lol ), and Easter all rolled into one month .

It is also the time of year that all merchants here in Libya wait for with baited breath. All the food stuffs get more expensive during Ramadan , sad to say . So the best thing is to try to do as much pre-shopping to stock up on the basics as much possible . Then after the first two weeks are spent in visiting family and friends , the remaining two weeks are spent in the frenzied hustle and bustle of trying to find and purchase that prefect outfit for the 3 day celebration at the end of Ramadan called the Eid .

The Eid is another thing all of it's self . You wake up early , prepare breakfast , which seems weird and sinful all at the same time after fasting for a month .Then many go to their local mosque to pray . That is followed by everyone visiting each other . This goes on for three days here in Libya . The purpose of these visits are several fold . One, you can make peace with someone that you may have had problems with in the past year . Two , you get to show off your new clothes , not really but let's be honest here , that is a main goal for many , as shallow as that may seem . Three , you get in touch with many people you don't see the rest of the year , to wish them a Happy New Year ( although it isn't really New Years ) and rekindle old ties .

Many will tell you that Ramadan is a feeling , but when pressed to describe what kind of a feeling, it proves so elusive an emotion , that they just can't put it to words . It has a holy feeling to it . It evokes happiness because the families draw closer . The food is a special gift from the women of the families cooked with love , served with devotion to those closest to our hearts. Fellowship is mixed in there somewhere too . All these things make Ramadan a special time of year for many . Something that is done with a glade heart . Here is wishing you a very Happy Ramadan in the coming month .

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