Izdehar Shtayat from Jordan studying at the University of Findlay shares how observing Ramadan in the United States is different than observing the holiday back home.
The month of Ramadan, which was revealed by the Holy Qur’an, is a month better than a thousand months, which turns man to his Creator and a lot of worship, prayer and supplication which means to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.
Ramadan is the month of blessings and good things to me and to all Muslims, where the man becomes closer to God and ask the Lord for forgiveness to remove past and future sins and all those who witness this month shall be a pure fast to God and accept God’s fast becoming as generated without his mother’s sins.
Ramadan’s special ritual in Jordan is when Jordanian people frequently pray, especially the Al-Tarawih prayer, increase their supplications, set up tasty banquets and visit family and friends. Some reside banquets on the side of the road – (called Al- Rahman banquets) – in order to travelers who are still on the way and to who did not realize the Maghreb’s prayer and eat at their homes and also for the poor and needy.
Also in the month of Ramadan, people read the Holy Qur’an in and out, distribute money to the poor and the needy, orphans and widows. For the month of Ramadan, the joy of a special atmosphere where all people are reluctant to hurt each other, whether in words or deeds, and intent to work daily with prayer and Blessings and return home early to prepare food for breakfast, then They go to mosques for prayers and Al- Tarawih prayers in mosques and some i’tikaaf (that’s means who remains throughout the month of Ramadan day and night to do prayers, read the Holy Qur’an, and calls his/ her Lord to forgive him/ her from his/ her sins).
This is the first time I spend the month of Ramadan out of my country Jordan, where I am now in the United States of America specifically in Findlay city, the atmosphere here is similar to the atmosphere of Ramadan in Jordan because the people here are naturally peaceful and don’t annoy each other. Some of them do not eat in front of Muslims out of respect for them and for their blessed month.
But I miss hearing the prayers which is authorized for Muslims to pray and that the Maghreb’s prayer to start eating. I have to know the time during the calendar to know the times of Maghreb’s prayer, Fajr prayer for eating and Al-Suhoor, abstaining from eating food when you hear the prayer of the second dawn. I have noticed that the fasting day here in America is longer than the fasting day in Jordan, approximately one hour. That means that the Jordanians fasted 15 hours a day while we fast for 16 hours in America.
Finally, I hope in this holy month that goodness prevails all over the world and love fills people’s hearts and I hope that God will forgive the sins of the foregoing and delayed and that all of us accept our fasting and that protects the Earth and all of who are on it. Amen.