Poem: What is Ramadan?

The most sacred time for Muslims everywhere
A month of fasting, charity, prayer
Reflection, devotion, spirituality

The month in which the Qur’an was revealed
To Prophet Muhammed, upon him be peace 
The best of all humankind

One of the five pillars of Muslim worship
The ninth month in the Islamic year
The first in order of importance

From the break of dawn to the setting of the sun
A challenge to all that are able 
To abstain in dedication to the One

Refraining from food, drink, and more
Rising above earthly desires
To reach a place closer to Him

Learning self-restraint and empathy
Strengthening family and community
All for the prize of His mercy

May He grant this to us all. Ameen.

The story behind the poem

In my post at the start of the month (Ramadan, Reading, and the Pen), I wrote about how I do a spot of freelancing every year for a local Ramadan guide. The primary audience for the booklet is the Muslim community, but as it is distributed free via a whole host of outlets in a very diverse city, I write some of the information pages in the guide with an eye on readers from other faith backgrounds who might not be as familiar as the primary audience is with what the holy month involves. When we swapped out the usual Ramadan information pages for poems in the 10th anniversary edition of the guide, I was keen not to lose the explanatory element for this wider readership, so I retained it by using verse instead.

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