Ramadan, which began last week, comes at a time when the world is in a desperate need for a spiritual uplifting.
Consider this blessed month as a month-long sale for any good deed that will be multiplied hundreds of times to help wipe out all sins of the previous year. Giving up all worldly pleasures, fasting all day and praying all night is the monthly spiritual routine.
To reflect on the spiritual values of Ramadan, which include patience and sincerity, we teach the youth that they cannot fake their fasting as they are watched by God all day. Ramadan teaches us to be humble as there is no difference between rich or poor, young or old. All fasting for the sake of their Lord from sunrise to sunset.
Fasting not only includes physical abstinence from food and drink but also fasting from bad habits such as lying, cheating, fraud, jealousy, as well as smoking and overindulgence.
Ramadan also is the month of generosity and giving, sacrificing, and reaching out to the poor and needy to feel what less-fortunate members of society go through year round. Share God's bounties even if you only have a date to share. According to a 2009 Department of Agriculture report, an estimated 50 million Americans were too poor to put food on the table.
There will be a great opportunity to join a free dinner (Iftar) in any mosque or Islamic community center at the time of sunset; also it is a great chance to get to know your fellow Muslim neighbors. The talking and laughter at the table that will foster peace and harmony in our community will subsequently reach out to the world to reverse fear psychology. Iftar is being served globally including Capitol Hill and the White House.
So during this month you can shed some pounds, reduce cholesterol, and decrease your chances for chronic disease such as coronary artery disease, degenerative joint disease and diabetes. The ministry of health in the United Kingdom adopted fasting as an effective strategy for disease prevention and wellness and thus saves billions of dollars in health-care spending.
An additional bonus would include a surge of energy and happiness. The spirit of the month of Ramadan can help decline the amount of problems we face in our daily lives. Lessening the amount of anxiety, depression, and stress — and your portions of food — can improve on your physical and mental well being during this month and could allow you to maintain these habits for the rest of the year.
The prayers that are accepted during this holy month will also affect you during the year. Let us pray for peace, the end of bloodshed in every country including places like Syria where 95,000 people have been killed senselessly. Ramadan is a universal call for unity for all humanity and our common values of humility, kindness and reaching out to a fellow human being.
Dr. Adel Eldin is a Brooksville cardiologist.