Ramadan teaches us lesson in mercy

In my view, Ramadan is the most energetic month of the year.

Everyone knows Ramadan is the most important time in the Islamic calendar for Muslims as they dedicate more time to improving their spiritual lives by praying and reading the Quran. In my view, it is the most energetic month of the year.

Someone new to the UAE and not aware of Islam or Ramadan will be surprised that the working hours are fewer than usual.

Employees work an average of six hours. However, this isn't because people are fasting and lack energy.

It is because they have a busy schedule throughout the month. Much time is dedicated to prayer, mostly in the mosque for men.

A lot of time is also spent reading the Quran as well as strengthening relationships with our families.

Fasting teaches the believer self-control because it disciplines his or her desire or need to drink or eat during the fasting period. Another vital lesson learnt in Ramadan through fasting is that believers have a chance to experience what millions of people feel who go hungry throughout their lives.

Moreover, fasting will make any Muslim strengthen their beliefs and be closer to God, making them more blessed and happier to be with God and to serve Him.

There are special moments and memories for me of this month. One funny memory was when I started to fast when I was nine years old.

As all Muslims know, only mature believers should fast so they do not risk hurting themselves.

As I was the youngest in our home, I wanted to prove to everyone that I was old enough to fast for the entire day. I was not able to do it because I was not old enough.

I was cheating and eating behind closed doors.

One day, my mother caught me, which caused a lot of embarrassment.

She then explained to me that I did not have to fast the whole day, I could start fasting half of the day, then day by day I would be able to increase the time of my fast until I had completed an entire day.

It was a lesson learnt and taught me the importance of mercy that Islam teaches to all Muslims.

This memory, and so much more, make me look forward to Ramadan and to the time I will spend close to my family and friends.

- Asma Al Ameri, 26, from Abu Dhabi, is a business relations manager.

Published: August 23, 2011 04:00 AM

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