Ramadan begins Sunday night. Able and observant Muslims across Canada and around the world will be fasting for the month until the evening of June 4th.
Ramadan is the ninth month and the most holy in the Muslim calendar because it is during this month that the Prophet Mohammed revealed the Qur’an. Those who observe, fast during daylight hours to foster empathy for the poor and feel what it’s like to go hungry, which is something far too many people in the world experience every day.
It’s a message we should all bear in mind. Many people live in poverty and can’t afford basic necessities. Many others get by living paycheque-to-paycheque. It’s tough to live knowing that an illness, an unexpected emergency or a late pay-cheque could mean having to choose between eating or having heat in the winter. There are too many Ontarians with work that is unstable, who don’t have decent benefits or who aren’t being paid fairly for the work they do.
For non-Muslims, Ramadan is a good reminder to help the poor and be grateful for our blessings. But it is also a good opportunity for all of us to learn more about a religion whose followers are often misunderstood and discriminated against. Through knowledge and empathy, we can understand what it is like to walk in another’s shoes and create a kinder society.
Ramadan Mubarak to everyone celebrating this month.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, First Vice-President/Treasurer