by LCC student Yuxuan Wang
For those of us who don’t know, Can you tell us a bit about what Ramadan is all about?
Generally, Ramadan is a month for fasting, prayer and reflection, and more importantly, helping others. Traditionally, people believe that doing good things during this period could help us to multiply the spiritual rewards. However, nowadays, I don’t think there are as many people as it used to be in the old days who believe in spiritual rewards, especially the young generation. For us, it is more like an identity-recognition activity and a good opportunity to help others.
What does it mean to you, and what’s the most rewarding and most challenging aspect to Ramadan?
The meaning of Ramadan to me changes during the different stages of my life. When I was a kid I was living in a Muslim community, where everyone did the same thing during Ramadan. In this way, I can only say it is naturally a part of life. When I become older and move to other places I started to realise some people don’t do it and it is perfectly fine. This is quite a shocking observation for me at that time. Since then Ramadan became a part of my identity. I could still have a connection to my Muslim brothers and sisters through fasting, having a great dinner after sunset or giving food to the poor together. I think the most rewarding aspect is the good feeling of giving. When I could offer some people in need some food or cloth, I would get a great sense of satisfaction. The most challenging part, for me, is not drinking water for the whole day, especially when Ramadan is in the hot summer.
Are there any practices in Ramadan that non-Muslims could implement into their lives, and how might it be beneficial?
Personally, I would not advise anyone to fast and abstain from food and water without medical advice, as this may cause some health problems. For those non-Muslims, I think helping those in need and hospitality to neighbours is worthwhile to try. Setting a regular time each year to deliver food and clothing to the poor will be easier to do than volunteering regularly. Meanwhile, being able to entertain family, friends and neighbours will give you lots of love and warmth.