Fasting isn’t just for the body. Ramadan, which comes from the Arabic and means scorching heat or dryness, is a time for deepening spiritual connection with Allah and reflecting on one’s life. During the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a time of intensive worship and generosity, a time to purify one’s behavior and express selfless acts of good. Ramadan is not merely a holiday, but an opportunity to gain by giving up, to prosper by going without, and to grow stronger by enduring weakness. It is a time of grace and forgiveness.

There is an unseen sweetness in the stomach’s emptiness. We are lutes. When the sound box is filled, no music can come forth. When the brain and the belly burn from fasting, every moment a new song rises out of the fire. The mists clear, and a new vitality makes you spring up the steps before you. Rumi

One of the pillars of Islam is fasting in order to help develop self-control beyond the demands of the body. This ability to resist earthly desires creates an unparalleled closeness with Allah. This fasting is not merely of the body, but also of the soul. As you progress through the month-long fasting from sunrise to sunset, you intensify the awareness of Spirit in your life, taking you to a higher spiritual experience. Part of the intention of this fasting is to align you with the pain of others and walk in their shoes as a reminder of the blessings in your life that you take for granted, thus opening you to a greater expression of generosity.

Spiritual Contemplation: If you were to do a daylight fast, what human desires other than food would come to your awareness, asking for you to look at them with greater clarity? In noticing the pangs of hunger what blessings do you realize you have in your life that you’ve been taking for granted? Where are you being called to express greater generosity?

Affirmation: I fast from negative and respond to the call of Spirit in my life.

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