A very significant global event will take place, most likely on June 17, and extend over a month. That is the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan.
During this month, there is spiritual renewal, redemption of all good deeds and endless mercy from our creator — the great prize of which will be the ultimate freedom from hellfire.
From the minute it starts, more than 1.7 billion followers of Islam engage in continuous worship — fasting during the day, praying till midnight and charitable giving.
This month reflects on thanking God Almighty for his endless bounties by sharing with the less fortunate. At sunset every day, the breaking of the fast, called Iftar, takes place across the world. Food is shared, and people gather to thank God for providing it.
As a matter of fact, for the most part, anyone can walk over to a mosque or Islamic center and eat for free. This is the spirit of Ramadan.
Fasting teaches us patience, discipline, self-control and humility, and its gets rid of arrogance and impatience. It does not distinguish between the richest man or woman and the poorest. Everyone is to fast and feel hunger and thirst during the period from sunrise to sunset for a month to feel the pain of others and appreciate the blessings bestowed upon us.
With God Almighty's acceptance of all good deeds — including, but not limited to, praying, charity, helping the needy, feeding the hungry and serving the community — all of our sins are erased, and we become pure again.
There are many health benefits to fasting. It helps control chronic diseases and also helps with weight loss, thus cutting down the risk for cancer and many other diseases. Fasting gives the body its annual maintenance to shed dead cells. In fact, the Department of Health in England has incorporated fasting as one of its wellness strategies.
Additionally, fasting helps get rid of stress, depression and anxiety, and it brings peace, tranquility and happiness. So everyone is encouraged to practice intermittent fasting for health and wellness, and it does not have to be as strict as the Muslim practice.
Ramadan softens the heart to make reconciliations with one's self, family, community and the world, and to be a good servant of the creator, helping fellow man unconditionally. The celebration peaks during the last 10 days, as everyone looks forward the Night of Power on the odd nights, where the angel Gabriel and others descend close to Earth.
Then, you come to realize that this fast-passing month will end soon, and we say goodbye until the next Ramadan comes.
Then the feast of breaking the fast, also known as Eid al-Fitr, comes as a trophy, along with the celebration for doing a good job during Ramadan. It includes buying new cloths, parties, rides for kids and exchanging gifts with family members and friends.
Ramadan is a blessed month for all mankind, with so many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. It is also a great opportunity to abstain from bad habits such as smoking, overeating, lying, cheating, backbiting and envy, offering a chance to transform yourself to be a better human being.
Everyone can benefit from Ramadan and make this month a special free gift to all humanity across the world.
Dr. Adel Eldin is the owner of Brooksville Cardiology in Wesley Chapel.