by Ryan Strom
from Common Ground News Service
The holiest month of the Islamic year, Ramadan, began last Friday, 20 July. This Ramadan, many Muslims are looking at a new dimension of the month: our impact on the earth. This is particularly important as we learn more about the effects of climate change, dwindling resources and, most importantly, decreasing access to fresh water around the world, which is a growing concern in many Muslim communities and countries.
Muslims believe that God has asked them to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. In addition to fasting, Muslims around the world aspire to attain spiritual contentment and come closer to God through increased prayer, meditation, helping others and self-reflection. While fasting is the most well known aspect of the month, it is also a time to be more aware of the universal principles of mercy, compassion and respect for the Earth that our faith teaches.