What Non-Muslims Can Learn About Life During Ramadan

Today marks the first day of Ramadan, the holy month in the Islamic faith where followers of the religion fast from sunrise to sunset. The practice of fasting, which often occurs during the hottest month of the year, creates tolerance and a respect for those less fortunate while also teaching observers to be grateful of their many blessings in life.

Despite religious preference, part of being human beings, and shared inhabitants of this world, means understanding and respecting one another. This means understanding each others cultures and practices and also being aware of what practices and observances mean.

While I observe Ramadan and fast for the month, I wanted to collect powerful, strong quotes to share with everyone during this month's observance regardless of religious backgrounds. Before any conclusions are drawn, by no means is this a recruitment tool to get you on the "other" side. I, myself, am on my own journey of what I identify with and where I see myself in the future. What I do know, however, is that my daily mantra is to be better than I was yesterday: so my observance of Ramadan, which is also my monthly challenge for the month of June, is me furthering my daily mantra.

Ramadan is more than just fasting, it's amalgamated of various components including forgiveness, kindness, truth, reflection, and appreciation.  The giving and receiving of words, the most powerful tool humans have at their disposal regardless of class and race, is extremely powerful and prolific, which is why I wanted to share words from Muslim thought leaders and prophets. 

Gathered from the Qu'Ran, Muslim scholars, and websites dedicated to spreading positive messages about Islam, enjoy the quotes and thoughts below to help you on your own spiritual journey and self-reflection. To be considerate of everyone and their beliefs, the below quotes and thoughts do not make reference of any specific higher power: rather, they provide guidance, help, and advice to ALL of those in need.

The below quotes and thoughts have been edited for style, editorial purposes as well as language translations.

Self-reflection

  1. “Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account. Weigh your deeds before they are weighed."

  2. "The worst of our faults is our interest in other people’s faults." – Ali Ibn Abi Talib

  3. "The overly jealous seek to harm and hurt other, but in the end only harm themselves"

  4. "If you don’t want your kids to hurt others don’t show them how to do it."

  5. "It's better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction."

  6. "Always speak truth, even if there is fear in speaking the truth."

  7. "Be with the truth even if you are alone."

  8. "People will always throw stones in your path. It depends on you what you make from it. A “Wall of Difficulties” or a “Bridge of Success"."

  9. "Adopt a gentle tone when speaking, for verily the tone at times, has a greater impact than the speech."- Imam al-Ghazali

  10. "Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in awhile, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again."

  11. “Never have i dealt with anything more difficult than my own soul.”– Abu Hamid al-Ghazali

  12. "To achieve any objective, we need two things: 1.) Nobel himma (motivation) – will overcome the obstruction and 2.) right strategy."

  13. “As long as you are pure of heart, you speak the truth.” – Umar bin al-Khattab

  14. “One should not feel happy at the acquisition of wealth, nor should be grieved at its loss.” – Uthman Ghani


Kindness and Empathy

  1. “Kindness is a mark of faith. and whoever is not kind has no faith."

  2. "No matter what your physical appearance, when you have kindness in your heart, you’re the most beautiful person in the world." – Mufti Ismail Menk

  3. “Meet the people in such a manner that if you die, they should weep for you, and if you live, they should long for you.” – Ali Ibn Abi Talib

  4. “Good actions are a guard against the blows of adversity.” – Abu Bakr Siddique

  5. “Forgiveness is the crown of greatness.” – Imam Ali

  6. “Before going to sleep – every night forgive everyone and sleep with a clean heart.”

  7. "If the heart becomes hardened the eyes becomes dry."

Wisdom and Knowledge

  1. “A good word is like a good tree whose root is firmly fixed and whose top is in the sky.”

  2. "No one is born learned. Knowledge comes only by way of studies."

  3. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi

  4. “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.”

Faith

  1. “The solution to every problem is in SABR (patience) and ISTIGFAAR (seeking forgiveness)."

  2. "Worry ends when faith begins."

Gratitude and Appreciation

  1. "When things are too hard to handle, retreat and count your blessings instead."

  2. "Sometimes the blessing are not in what he gives, but in what he takes away."

  3. "Every test is a blessing, every blessing is a test."

  4. “Know that the ungrateful never successful.”

While ideals and beliefs might not be exactly the same, there's still something to learn during this month of spiritual exploration and enhancing relationships. Regardless of what denomination you associate, there's no reason to bypass wisdom, guidance, and insight. If you decide to decline on receiving knowledge and wisdom, than it's crucial you ask yourself who you want to be and if your following is actually helping you to get there.