This comes from my friend Dr. Omar Sarsam. I previously mentioned Omar, who is a Christian from Mosul who now lives in Kurdistan. He was kind enough to share it with me, shukran Omar!
A Friday in Ramadan
There were moments in my life when I thought that it’s all over.
Thought?! I need to rephrase that, I didn’t “think”, I actually BELIEVED; that it was all over. I learned the hard way that belief is not a true one unless we doubt it. Deep inside, I still had some doubt that it wasn’t the end; there might still be a chance for me to go on. As you can see, doubting in this case was hope. The following is dedicated to all who gave me hope, all who were there for me, to all “my true neighbors”.
To give a clearer idea about what is meant by the true neighbors; I quote the following parable from the holy Bible
25) On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26)"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27) He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
28) "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29) But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30) In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31) A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32) So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33) But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
35) The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36)"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37)The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Last Friday, one of the closest people to my heart came to visit and stayed for the night, it was the Friday of mid Ramadan. We got to fast this day and have our Iftar together; it was an amazing day. I’d love to take this opportunity to write about the story behind the story of this tradition that has been going on for the last 5 years.
It was winter time shortly after my mother passed away and everybody was busy doing their spring cleaning; a task that requires a lot of effort; cleaning the carpets, the floor, moving the furniture to put the carpets and returning them to their places afterwards. At that Ramadan, 3 of friends volunteered to help. I still remember that day, it’s engraved in my memory, I woke up at 7 a.m. to see them waiting at the main gate. We worked till around 6 p.m., they were fasting and refused to have anything to eat and drink.
As a sign of my appreciation and respect I fasted that day with them. It was on my heart to keep this as a tradition in my life; fasting the Friday of mid Ramadan.
To my family,
To all my true friends,
To all who fed me when I was hungry,
To all who sheltered me when I was homeless,
To all who called and asked about me when I was down and lonely,
To all who prayed for me,
To all “my neighbors”,
THANK YOU, You are in my prayers, May God bless you more and more and enlighten your ways.
I am blessed and so much loved by our heavenly father; he hasn’t sent one Good Samaritan but a whole bunch of them.
P.S: A priest and a Levite are both people of religious ranks.
For more info about the historical and cultural background check Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Good_Samaritan