Religions and Spirituality

A Personal Ramadan Diary: Week 3

e7b52d110e407017e11f_IMG-20150708-WA0006-1.jpg
Mona Mostafa and best friend and South Brunswick resident, Sarah, on their way to a fireworks show at Village Park in Cranbury for the Fourth of July. They brought Subway sandwiches and broke the fast with them at the park before the fireworks began. Credits: Mona Mostafa
e7b52d110e407017e11f_IMG-20150708-WA0006-1.jpg

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - We've officially entered the last ten days of Ramadan, which means many things.

 It is believed in our religion that the Quran (our holy book) was sent down to us within these last 10 days (of the moth-long holiday).

So it is encouraged that we spend as much time at the mosque at night performing prayers and supplication (Duaa) as we can, because it could be any of these nights.

Sign Up for E-News

Which one, we don't know for sure.

That night is called Laylut al Qadr (the night of Power), and praying on this day is considered more beneficial than the combined prayers of 1,000 months.

This is why people go to the mosque every night in the last 10 days, in case that night is the Night of Power.

An itikaf is when we spend the whole night at the mosque with very minimal or no sleep at all and spend time reading the Quran, praying, repenting, and performing (acts of) supplication.

The entire month is considered holy but these last 10 days are considered the holiest of them all. We stay there until sunrise and we eat together before the sun comes up so we could fast the next day. 

If you've read my previous Ramadan Diaries, you'd know that there's a lot of things that go into this holy month.

Fasting teaches you patience and restraint and encourages us to be generous and forgiving. 

An awesome organization called Muslims Against Hunger collaborated with our local mosque this week in South Brunswick to prepare 800 meals for the hungry to distribute with the Hunger Van.

 It was amazing to see how many Muslims came to the event to prepare food although they themselves were fasting.

Again, that's the nature of Ramadan.

Giving in charity, gaining in rewards, and strengthening your faith.

Forgiveness is a topic I haven't touched on before, but it’s an important one.

Before the month begins, we should seek forgiveness from those whom we have wronged.

If we know we have done something to hurt someone’s feelings, we should ask and pray that they forgive us.

And as the month goes on, we should continue to seek forgiveness from those we may have wronged as our fasting may be considered meaningless if we don't make an effort to fix the relationships around us.

Besides all of the different aspects of this blessed month, I think my favorite would be getting together with family and friends and encouraging each other to do good and giving each other tips and ideas on how to benefit more from Ramadan.

For example, one of my best friends told me that there was a woman in our community who has been struggling financially and told me, and a few of our other friends, the idea she had to help her: to donate a dollar every single day in the month of Ramadan so that we could collectively raise enough money to help her for the time being.

We are definitely blessed to be given the opportunity to strengthen our faith and better our character through this holy month.

I hope that everyone, including myself, is able to use this month to create good habits to use for the rest of the year and even the rest of our lives.

It takes 21 days to create a habit, Ramadan gives us 30.

Ramadan is only one percent abstaining from food and drink.

The other 99 percent is focusing on becoming closer to God. 

So in these last few days, we should try to make the very most of it and focus on strengthening our faith, patience, and character as much as we can.

Editor's Note: Mona Mostafa is a South Brunswick resident writing a four-part series of her personal journey through the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Orange/Orange

Adults Step Up and Speak Out to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse

April 18, 2018

EAST ORANGE, NJ — The East Orange YMCA is marking National Child Abuse Prevention Month with Five Days of Action, April 16-20. Leading up to Healthy Kids Day, a national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids, Five Days of Action raises awareness on how adults can step up and speak out to prevent child sexual abuse.

“By encouraging adults to step up and speak out, ...

Essex County Announces Partnership with Nine Local Charitable Organizations

April 16, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Essex County will participating in nine special partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Arc of Essex County, the New Jersey Children Alliance, Stop for Nikhil, The Valerie Fund, the Arthritis Foundation, the Saint Barnabas Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and ...

How to Get Potential Clients to Feel Confident About Your Ability

For people to contract with you, they need to have confidence in you. They need to know that you’re going to do what you say you’ll do. But, how can they know this before you work with them? There are plenty of signs that they’ll look at to determine if you’re trustworthy.

* Do What You Say You Will – Whether it’s in a group, one-on-one, or otherwise, ...

Likability is Key to Attracting Clients

Likability is a quality that you need to have to get people to know you and trust you. If you want the full trifecta of like, know, and trust, then it all starts with being someone that people like. You really can learn to be more likable and it's all to do with your demeanor. But, being likable starts from within. If you care about and find value in others, it’s going to show through ...

What to Do and Not Do During Networking Events

When you go to networking events with a goal of getting more high-quality clients, there are some things that you should and should not do. There are tried-and-true methods to use that successful business people have perfected. Follow them, and don’t try to reinvent the wheel if you want to be successful.

DO’S:

* Choose the Right Events – It’s fine to go to ...

April is National Stress Awareness Month

April 14, 2018

National Stress Awareness Month-April 2018

Stress is a topic that people often joke about.  However, it is not a matter to be taken lightly. Stress is unfortunately one of the most common mental health issues and stress factors increasingly affect the well-being of American’s and others world-wide. According a study by the American Psychological Association, despite stress levels ...