Today marks the beginning of Ramadan. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ramadan, it is a month of intense spiritual rejuvination focusing more on introspection and less concerns of everyday life. We at Naval Services FamilyLine have volunteers from all walks of life, and we were lucky enough to have a little Q&A with two who celebrate Ramadan.
Q&A with Rosy Goforth and Ritarsha Furqan
Q: In your own words, describe Ramadan and how you and your family celebrate it.
Rosy: Ramadan is a holy month observed by muslims all over the world. It is the month where you cleanse yourself spiritually, to bring you closer to Allah and Jannah (heaven). We always fast from sunrise to sundown for the whole month. At the end of the Ramadhan which is Ied Al-Fitri day we would celebrat with special foods and get together with friends and families.
Ritarsha: Ramadan is an opportunity to understand and focus on the benefits that we do have and the help empathize with those less fortunate. It’s also a time for fellowship and family and a chance to renew your personal relationship with Allah (PBUH) as you read the Quran.
Q: Have you always celebrated Ramadan? If not, how did you come to celebrating and how long have you been celebrating it?
Rosy: Yes, I was born and raised in Indonesia where majorities of the muslim population reside. I grew up with a rich tradition of Ramadhan as a kid, almost magical if I have to say so myself.
Ritarsha: I converted to Islam in college and have celebrated for almost 20 years.
Q: Does celebrating Ramadan as a military family bring any challenges to observing these traditions?
Rosy: Like any other things in life, being a military family does come with it's challenges. Depending on where the military moved us or what month of the year Ramadhan is, sometimes we have to fast longer or shorter. Finding a community that celebrate Ramadhan can also be quite challenging. My kids don't get to celebrate Ramadhan the way I did as a kid.
Ritarsha: The hardest observation of Ramadan is on deployment with watch shifts and meal times, but intent is what God sees and what he values. He knows what’s in our hearts. Calling the bridge to see what direction you’re facing is always fun.
Q: Is there anything else you would like people to know about this celebration?
Rosy: There's so much more to Ramadhan than just fasting for a whole month. For me it's the time to let go of all the worldly obsession and to connect with myself spiritually.
Ritarsha: If you have Muslim friends ask to go to Juma with them or to celebrate Eid al Fitr (the celebration at the end of Ramadan). Get to know your friends and their faith, you’ll see many more similarities than differences.