(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Tuesday, 7 May 2019)
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
Yesterday marked the first day of Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and one of the holiest months of the entire year. Ramadan is the month in which the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) received the first revelation of the Qur’an from God through the Angel Gabriel.
Throughout the month, all Muslim adults in good health are expected to fast from dawn to dusk, 4AM to 8PM, without any food or water. We do so for two main reasons: to bring us closer to God, but to also remind us of the suffering of those less fortunate than us. We were all created equal in the image of God, yet we are still not all equal in this world. Only in Ramadan does the rich man break his fast alongside the poor. The white alongside the black. The privileged alongside the underprivileged.
We start our fast with a meal called sehri, where we wake up before sunrise, eat a breakfast that should sustain us, say a prayer, and go back to sleep. After we wake up, we spend our day in reflection and repentance, saying prayers at the appropriate times. It’s essentially a normal day, until the evening, after the sun has set, where we say the evening prayer and break our fast with a meal known as iftar. It is tradition to break one’s fast at a mosque with a date (the fruit, that is) and a cup of water. After the fast has been broken, we eat to our heart’s content until it is time to sleep, and the cycle repeats. After 30 days, give or take, Ramadan ends, and we commemorate with Eid-ul-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast, which is celebrated in the community with plenty of food and presents. So essentially, it is our Christmas.
As the Ramadan season starts, let us pray for a peaceful month, where all of us can reflect on our own lives and relationships with not only God, but with each other as well.
Allaahum-maghfir lee, warhamnee, wahdinee, wajburnee, wa ‘aafinee, warzuqnee, warfa’nee
O God, forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, support me, protect me, provide for me and elevate me.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Hasan Raza–Class of 2019