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As a Muslim, Ramadan is a time when I can make things right. This holy month, we all can.

Fasting, particularly for a new Muslim, can be a jarring experience. Imagine voluntarily giving up all food and drink — including the caffeinated beverages we rely on to keep us in motion — during sunlight hours for 30 days straight! Most of us, void of the faith component that motivates the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims to partake in Ramadan, would find this a challenge at the very least. From the age of 17, the first time my sense of conviction in my newfound faith led me to complete the monthlong fast, I realized Ramadan is a time when I can make things right spiritually, physically and socially.

In the Holy Quran, the scripture of the Islamic faith, it is stated, “The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” It was, in fact, the month of Ramadan in which the Prophet Muhammad had retreated to a remote cave overlooking his city to reflect on how he could take an active role in righting society’s wrongs and be a part of the change he wanted to see in the world.

One night, while he was sleeping, the Angel Gabriel woke him up and provided him with guidance from God on how he could embark upon this daunting task. The first three instructions provided to the Prophet Muhammad were as follows: Read (educate oneself), stand in prayer (refine your spiritual and emotional state) and warn the people (take social action). Eventually, these concepts were paired with fasting during Ramadan. Over 1,400 years later, they still stand as a testament to how humanity can use this month to become better people — a lesson we desperately need now more than ever.

We all need the blessings of Ramadan

The world has become a terrifying place where wrongs are being perpetrated locally, nationally and globally. From the police brutality that has led to a disproportionate number of deaths of people of color in America to the denial of a woman’s right to make decisions over her own body as it pertains to abortion, we live in a world in which policymakers and those in power are making decisions that impact the daily lives of us all, often to our detriment.

Combine that with the horrific loss of innocent life that I, along with members of my community, have witnessed since October 2023, and I firmly believe that we all need the blessings of Ramadan to provide us with some relief, guidance and hope.

Imagine waking up day after day to check if your friends and family members in Gaza are still alive. Try conceptualizing the loss of more than 30,000 lives, the vast majority of which are innocent men, women and children. Put yourself in the shoes of people walking among us every day in Oklahoma who are trying to cope with or suppress their emotions, who go about their daily lives grieving the loss of their loved ones.

Imagine saying a prayer every time your Black child walks out of the house, hoping that he or she will return home safely and not fall victim to police violence. Imagine being a woman whose health is at risk and whose choices have been stolen from her by others who made decisions on what she can or cannot do when it comes to her body.

No one should have to live their life this way, yet this is the reality for so many of us across our state. The time has come for us to end these injustices and wrongs of the world before we lose any sense of our humanity that remains. Now, with the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, let us reflect on how we can come together and make things right again.

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