Four days ago I began my quest to observe Ramadan as a non-Muslim. I expected the headaches, the sleepiness, the emotional roller-coaster. What I did not expect is the backlash of peoples narrow-minded opinions towards Ramadan. I have been publicly humiliated in a professional setting and comments made on my Facebook that prove that some people have no understanding of life outside the sphere of their worlds.
Maybe because I am praying five times a day that I have been able to add additional prayers for those that judge my choices and that feel it is their place to harshly comment on something they know little about. Fasting does make you a little bit of a raw nerve so when your doing something for the experience, to get greater understanding of your friends and for a deeper person spiritual experience not taking comments to heart task patience and a few more prayers.
One of the Ramadan practices I have been observing is Du’a. Du’a is the supplication to Allah. Like any good practice there is etiquette to making Du’a.
1. To be accepted a persons possessions and earnings must be halal.
2. Recommended to face Qiblah whilst making du’a.
3. Recommended to face palms upwards and raise hands to your shoulders.
4. Begin du’a with praise of Allah and blessings of the Prophet.
5. Spoken in a voice not loud nor soft, with full intention and humility.
6. Du’a cannot be for anything that is haram or to harm another person.
7. Be patient in have du’a accepted.
8. Be confident Allah will accept your du’a.
9. Recommended to repeat du’a three times.
10. The best prayers are the du’a of the Prophet.
11. Pray for yourself when making du’a for someone else.
12. Certains times and places are more auspicious that others.
Because I already have a strong faith in my own spirituality I have chosen to make du’a to my higher power. An example of the du’a I have made each day is “God, please guide me to achieve all my goals of fasting and charity during this Ramadan”. I have also made du’a for my family and loved ones all over the world. I have also asked how I can be of service to the world around me.
My prayers when I am at home have been done on the most amazing prayer mat lent to me by a dear friend. It comes from Mecca which has made my praying experience just a little more special. I love spiritual places and to observe Ramadan however packaged in my own faith, with a prayer mat from the heart of Islam has enhanced my prayers.
Even after only 4 days, Ramadan has proved cleansing on many levels and I know more will be revealed from the experience and the benefits will increase exponentially as the month passes.