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GOODBYE RAMADAN… I hope you are leaving pleased with us. We felt hungry and thirsty. We also had a lockdown this year. But we were happy. We had lots of lessons from you. We learnt that life is not all about eating and drinking. We experienced peace in patience, sharing and how peaceful the moments are spent close to Allah and aware of Him.

Sometimes there are times when you cannot eat even though the food is available to you. You could have a glass of water but may not be able to drink it. Life has two faces, one of which is smiling at us. The moments when we are happy and wish they would never end. These are times we should be grateful. Also, there are such times when an hour feels like a month and we need patience for these times. Ramadan teaches us both patience and gratitude. Could there be any other kind of worship that can teach patience and gratitude so well at the same time? Ramadan is the gratitude of the body. It is the thankfulness for the health you are given. Ramadan is patience with intention. You learn to give up some things by intention before life takes them away from you. It makes your soul understand that you cannot always get what you want in this life.

Ramadan teaches us patience not only with eating and drinking, but also with manners. As well as stopping eating and drinking, we are expected to change our unkind and offending behaviours. Sometimes, keeping your tongue-tied in an angry moment and swallowing your anger is more difficult than not eating and drinking. There are moments when your heart beats with anger, your face turns red, you close your eyes and open your mouth to throw up your anger to a person and at that very moment you remember that you are fasting and become silent. This is another aspect of fasting. Ramadan makes you step back when you are angry just because you are fasting. Then it is up to you to try to continue this state of mind and soul for the whole year.

Ramadan does not mean only the month for fasting, it is also known with generosity and sharing. Muslims all around the world focus their attention more on giving to the poor. Not known for sure if it is because of being able to understand how being hungry feels or because of the spiritual mood of Ramadan, but the rich tend to pay alms, fulfill the obligation of zakat, and deliver food packages more and more in this month. Ramadan becomes a month of charity for the Muslim countries reaching out to the world. Every fasting believer looks around to see if there is anyone hungry or in need around him or if there is a parent who cannot afford to buy something that his/her children asks for. Then, with this awareness, it is easier to spread the morality of, 'He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbour to his side goes hungry' the whole year.

Closeness to Allah is another lesson given by Ramadan. The heart of a believer who spends his days fasting and his nights on tarawih and sahur, finds peace. Those who fast every Ramadan, experience the state of mood that although they might be hungry or thirsty, there is a different state of peace in a fasting person. They say that the first 10 days of Ramadan reflects the Mercy of Allah (Rahmeh), the second part reflects the Forgiveness of Allah (Maghfirah) and the last 10 days reflects salvation from Hell. You feel if you died during this period, you would have come to a state that you would not even be afraid of death. You reach the end of Ramadan as you have attained mercy and forgiveness and protection from Hell.

Ramadan is like soldiers or football players going to a camp for a month. It is like a doping for a more decent life for the whole year. We can say that religion exists for us to live in a more humanely way. Fasting is certainly for us, since the creator of all the human being and all the universes, cannot be in need for the humans to stay hungry or thirsty. It is for the humankind to return to his essence and to understand his soul and spirit. It prepares you to adapt to the ups and downs of life more easily. It loads patience, loads good morals, and closeness to Allah, and that's why the real name of the Ramadan feast is Eid al-Fitr (the aid of nature) because it enables humans to return to their nature and find their essence. If we could learn the life lesson that Ramadan gave this year and make it possible to spend the remaining 11 months with this consciousness and this gratitude, then it will be the perfect Eid al-Fıtr for us.


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