The Secret Beyond Matter

A month-long festival

It is almost miraclulous that despite changing times, advancing technology, shifting habits, disappearing traditions and newly emerging ones, in Bahrain, Ramadan is a beautiful, reassuring constant. Its warmth is unlike any other: people are simply better. Children are happier, adults are kinder, and the elderly are more respected. Friends seek each other with more vigour, and families spend more time together. It is almost as if in Ramadan, negativity takes a break.

Therefore, it is no wonder Ramadan feels like a month-long festival. During this time, people reconnect, brush aside any past resentments and begin a complete spiritual and physical makeover. They turn to themselves to correct their mistakes, their personality flaws, and governments work to make cities more beautiful while fasting bodies begin their own makeover and start a sturdy process of repair.

When Ramadan touches houses, a sweet exhilaration starts. After the first sahoor, which is a memorable experience in itself, the fasting begins. The household, whether at school or work, happily dream about the iftar feast while at home, mothers cook more happily dreaming about the content faces at the iftar table.

When Ramadan touches cities, they brighten up and shine with new vigour. Minarets lit up, colourful lanterns adorn the streets and mouthwatering smells of Ramadan breads and sweet desserts carry around amidst the greetings of “Ramadan Kareem”. Even streets feel safer, be it day or night. Local administrations work extra hard to clean the streets, and organise events for after-iftar hours and prepare free iftar tents for the hundreds who wish for a memorable feast. Even though traditions and festivities may slightly vary from one country to another, one thing in common is that they all add to the joy of Ramadan.

No doubt, Ramadan also offers incredible spiritual benefits to those who fast. Day-long fasting helps believers empathise better with the poor, which leads to heightened senses of compassion and altruism, not to mention more charity. Also as a part of the observation, Muslims focus on their characters, and try to overcome their shortcomings, like lack of patience, compassion or forgiveness. The frequent get-togethers with relatives and friends help them better appreciate the importance of human connection, no matter how pressing the daily hustle and bustle of life might be.

Needless to say, food is extra delicious during this month. In addition to Ramadan specialities, which are prepared exclusively during this month, food in this month, no matter where you go in the Islamic world, will definitely entice all taste buds. From refreshing juices, to mezze, from delicious salad selections to harees and spit-roast lambs to special Ramadan breads and famous Ramadan deserts like kunafa and mahalabiya, Ramadan iftars and sahoors turn into unforgettable delicious feasts.

Once again, Ramadan tents will be set up in Bahrain and Manama’s Old Market will be decorated in a way that befits the glory of Ramadan. Store owners have already decorated their stores and filled their shelves with Ramadan specials, while businesses prepared care packages for the poor.

Every single day in the month of Ramadan in Bahrain is a reason for joy and celebration. For Muslims, it is a beautiful opportunity to cure our souls, to reconnect with our loved ones and to take a much-needed break from the materialistic landscape of today’s world.

Adnan Oktar's piece in Gulf Daily News:

2018-06-04 01:01:02

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