Wednesday, July 29, 2015

God bless my Muslim cousins for the gift of Ramadan

ALPHA OMEGA ARTS
By Ernest O. Disney-Britton
I am a Christian, born in America, but I am grateful to my Muslim cousins for their Ramadan. You see my African ancestry traces back to Senegal, a Muslim nation of 15 million people in Africa. This past June 17-July 17, I joined them on their 30-day holy month, the world's biggest act of mass religious observance. It is a period of daily fasting, prayer and giving to charity, and in doing so, I learned a great deal about my African cousins. I expected to purify my thoughts and to be more able to focus fully on devotion and service to God. It is what I did not expect that makes me most grateful.
  1. I did not expect to lose 20-lbs and feel healthier than I have in years. 
  2. I did not expect to develop a passion for dates, the fruit used by the Prophet Mohammed to "break" his fasting. 
  3. I did not expect the joy of allowing five prayers to set the rhythm of my day. 
  4. Finally, I did not expect to find an intentional act of charity in supporting Christian artists.
Ramadan is over now, but God bless my Sengelese cousins for the gift of their holy month.