Ramadan Kareem!

In the traditional Sunni and Shia Muslim religions, Ramadan is a month for fasting–not eating from sun-up to sun-down in order to practice gratitude, purity, self restraint, and discipline. In the Ismaili sect, its meaning is much more esoteric: cleansing from the inside, good acts, kindness, and staying away from any and all bad behaviors. This is not only to be done for one month, but a way of life that should be a part of oneself at all times.

I have had a lot of ups and downs lately, and Ramadan could not have come at a better time. But this month, I will not be fasting in the literal sense, and I know that most people will not be able to understand this. In fact, a lot of people will think that it is “un-Muslim” of me, and think that those who fast are better Muslims. But I know who I am and what my life is all about within the context of my faith, and in the end, this journey is only between me and God.

So for Ramadan, I will try my best to continue to carry God with me in every moment, stay away from any bad habits, and strive even harder to be the best self I can be to every person I come across, in every way possible. I will eat only healthy foods in moderation and be grateful for every bite. I will workout daily and push myself to my limits, and I will go to meditation at 4 in the morning as often as I can. I will practice the morals, ethics, and values of Islam in every moment as part of a lifestyle change, and I will do it for none other than my own self.

Ramadan Mubarak to all my Muslim friends! May this month bring you a bounty of blessings, happiness, good health, long life, love, laughter, and true peace with yourselves and with others.

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