Ramadan, Canadian Politics and Struggle

Ramadan is a very important month for Muslims all over the world. Every year during the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Although Muslims consume food or water during daylight, Muslims also cannot do anything that would be considered sinful (lying, etc.). The month is about spiritually building yourself into a better person.

Although it does sound like a struggle, it is actually a time of happiness. I’ve always seen Ramadan as a time to get together with your family and community, and to focus on yourself as a member of society.

This is why I think it’s amazing that Canadian politicians are going around making videos wishing Canadian-Muslims ‘Ramadan Kareem’ (which translates to generous Ramadan). This past election, which saw the Liberals take a majority government, was a big election for Canadian-Muslims. Groups like Canadian Muslim Vote and many others worked on getting Muslims to take part in civic engagement.

Canadian politicians like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, and Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath have posted videos on social media wishing Ramadan Kareem to Canadian-Muslims. Ajax MP Mark Holland made an announcement in the House of Commons that he would be fasting during the month of Ramadan as part of a charity called Give 30, where he would be donating the money he saved from fasting. All of this shows that politicians in Canada are taking the extra initiative to make Canada inclusive to it’s diverse population. It also shows that it’s not only a partisan thing: Muslims aren’t owned by one party but are part of the country as a Canadian.

Many who you will ask (namely, me) will tell you that Ramadan is a struggle. It is. There is no doubt about that. Struggle has managed to make us grow, just like how pressure will turn a lump of coal into a diamond. Some people ask why we do this, as in why on earth we would fast from 3 am (approximately) to 9 pm (approximately). I can’t answer for everyone, but I’ve learned that the struggle is what helps me change myself into a better person. I enter this month looking for ways to improve myself, constantly aware of how I act towards others and myself. If I can improve one part of myself, I’ll feel successful.

Ramadan Kareem everyone, and let the (hunger) games begin.

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Also for this month the 30 Nights of Ramadan will be returning! Come visit the page to check out some amazing creative writing by Muslims around the world sharing their experiences during this holy month. This is our second year running this project and we are excited to see what comes. Click the image above!

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