Good day, everyone! Thank you, God, for we're alive and well, and blogging again.
Looking at the calendar in our bedroom, I learned that Islamic Ramadan starts this sunset today. I have heard about it before but I don't know exactly what this is all about. That's why I have to do a little research. Now, here's what I found out:
Etymologically, Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad which means scorching heat or dryness.
Considered the most sacred month, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. During this time, the Islamic community worldwide observes fasting from dawn until sunset. But food and drinks are served daily before sunrise and after sunset. Regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, this annual observance lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon. Except for those who are ill, travelling, pregnant, breast-feeding, and undergoing menstrual bleeding, fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims. While fasting, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations, and also swearing. They maximize their practice of charity and generosity. Prayers and recitation of the Quran are highly emphasized or practiced during the month of Ramadan. Likewise, alms-giving and abstaining from all bad deeds, and staying humble are observed.
Comparatively, it appears that Ramadan is to Islam as Lent/Easter or Holy Week is to Christianity. Both solemn, spiritual observances involve fasting, alms-giving, charity, prayer, penance.
On the other hand, as summer is ongoing in the United States and other countries in the Northern Hemisphere, let's be mindful of our safety as we try to have fun and have a great time out there with family and/or friends, or (distant) relations. There are safety measures, precautions, guidelines to observe in all activities, indoor and out, that we can be involved with or engaged in, be it at work or at play, at home or on the roads, in the air or at sea or in the water, etc. Protecting ourselves from sun's rays, heat-related illnesses, burns, fires, drowning, calamities, and issues related to protecting our identity, life, privacy, security, etc. from crooks, criminals, robbers, thieves, is something that is relative to safety in general. Whether we're enjoying soaking under the sun, cooking, grilling, driving, traveling, working in the hospital, office, or mere gardening, cleaning, lawn-mowing, camping, fire-fighting, patrolling, any activities that involve anything from engines, machines, utensils, computers to you name it, safety is everyone's concern. Following necessary or required directions, procedures; using or wearing proper gear, clothing, equipment, etc, can mean between life and death. If we're not careful and vigilant, and negligent, our summer can be that costly and, thus, it may even be catastrophic, deadly or fatal. So, my dear folks and friends, near or far, as we're on vacation or on our summer getaways somewhere, or at home (staycation), let's observe safety all the time. We'll never know when and if our expertise is needed, too.
Btw, if I remember right, I did write a blog post about this subject on summer safety. I posted it on July 12, 2011. For those of you, folks and friends who have been reading my blog, check it out again if you're kind of curious what's in there. basically, I tackled issues about heat-related illnessess or injuries associated with prolong exposure to the sun. (In my frequent going to the beach, particularly at Buckroe Beach in Hampton, years ago, wearing top tanks or sleeveless shirts, I have sort of dark skin on my upper chest area. But I don't think, and I do believe, that it's cancerous. It's just brownish slightly darker pigment, obviously. A dermatologic concern? Probably not, I hope.)
This is all I have at this time. Until next time around. Thanks, everyone, for being safe. Take care and have a wonderful day, everyone! Have a fun and safe summer! As always, I pray, "May God bless US and keep US safe from harm always!"-chris a. quilpa, 09 July 2013