All of us at Living Well wanted to take a minute to recognize Ramadan and wish all who celebrate a Happy EID.

EID means a Festival or Feast in Arabic. With Ramadan winding down the feasting begins. After a month of reflection and introspection, Muslims the world over return to regular meals and no fasting. For those of us unfamiliar with the traditions, Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims.

Muslims believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to Mohammed (the Prophet of Islam), on a night known as “The Night of Power” (or Laylat al-Qadr in Arabic). During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from sunrise until sunset, as a spiritual discipline with deep contemplation to one’s relationship with God. This brings special  prayers and increased charity and generosity. It’s a time of celebration and joy, to be spent with loved ones. At the end of Ramadan there’s a big three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. EID is kind of like the Muslim version of Christmas, in the sense that it’s a religious holiday where everyone comes together for big meals with family and friends.

Why fast? The practice of fasting is to remind you of your human frailty and your dependence on God for sustenance. It shows you what hunger and thirst feels like, so you feel compassion for and a duty to help the needy. It also helps reduce the distractions in your life so you can more clearly focus on your spiritual life. There are several rules about fasting and breaking one of these can invalidate your fast. However, you can make up for it by another day of fasting. You can also make up for missed days of fasting by fasting later in the year, or providing a meal to a needy person for each day you missed. Muslims are also supposed to try to curb negative thoughts and emotions like jealousy and anger, and even lesser things like swearing, complaining, and gossiping, during the month. Some people may also choose to give up or limit activities like listening to music and watching television.

CFO Ghazi Akailvi’s son, Naasir talking about Ramadan on WCCO.

WCCO recently did a piece on the intersection this year of Ramadan, Passover and Easter. Take a minute and learn a bit more about Ramadan. CFO Ghazi Akailvi’s son, Naasir, is featured in the clip.

With a diverse staff of 500 people, and many of our employees being from other countries and various faiths, it feels important for us to share the stories of important cultural celebrations. It is the variety of people and traditions that makes life more interesting. And learning about these celebrations feels like a good way to support the people we serve and the staff who so beautifully care for them.