Ramadan and the Lessons of Time


This Ramadan we are relishing the near stoppage of time as a family. There is a slow rhythm to the my way my husband and I move in the house; the act of fasting makes us flow more slowly. I’ve been thinking about time and how Ramadan folds us into a lovely, non-linear form, ritualistic love of a relationship with time.

Paying attention to natural markers
Usually the soft glow of the crescent moon eludes me as I drive around the city. The sun’s waking and sleeping patterns are secondary to my alarm clock during the rest of the year. Here now in this month, both the sun and the moon become companions in establishing a pattern of worship of our joint Creator. The Quran is full of references to the natural phenomena that mark the terrestrial and celestial worlds.

Simply put, in Ramadan I look up more often. I peer at the sky, and contemplate the majesty and scale of beauty in which I am an integral and infinitesimal part. I live a life more humbled in recognizing my interdependence with so many other manifestations of God’s mercy.

Grounded in my Family
Something else happens in Ramadan, we find ourselves seeking each other out as a family. My children and I made a calendar marking each day in Ramadan, we then sit down at Iftar time at the end of the day and we all answer these set of questions:
1) how did you challenge your heart (help someone else?)
2) how did you challenge your mind (learn something new?)
3) how did you challenge your body (get physical exercise?)

We sit on the floor and I can tell how much more time we spend just being with each other. Just in hugs, kisses and leaning on each other to laugh. Time becomes not about production, but relational in nature.

We are not measuring, but making meaning by sharing prayer, food, love and simple peace. This Ramadan theme has been about falling in love again and again with small acts of grace and kindness with my little ones.May our Ramadan be a time to deepen all of our families and build bonds that last for lifetimes.

07/24/13 at 2:17am
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