Ramadan is here. Muslims in Bahrain and all around the world, from Istanbul to Karachi, from Medina to Kuala Lumpur, salute and celebrate the arrival of their most beloved time of the year.
After weeks of preparations, the most festive time of the year has finally touched down as the songs of praise and joy reach up to heavens, minaret lights illuminate the night sky. A month of joyful fasting is set to begin. The exuberance in the air is palpable.
Ramadan, as it has always been throughout the 1,400-year-old history of Islam, once again shines with its familiar beauty.
In special, Ramadan brings with it a delightful warmth, a feeling of safety that envelopes everyone from old to young, whether they are observant Muslims or not.
Its invisible blanket of peace and warmth settles over the cities and are easy to spot in every corner: On the streets, in the restaurants (where Iftar feasts are getting ready), on the faces of children rushing to buy Ramadan pita bread for those rushing home to break their fast with their beloved ones.
As a new day starts in Ramadan, everyone goes about their business as usual but the difference is there and observable.
There is a joy, a gleam in the eyes and a sweet excitement that mounts as the evening draws closer.
In the meantime, women are busy with preparations at home. After having stocked the best of everything for this special time of the year and waiting for months for it to arrive, there is no doubt that every Iftar dinner will be another feast.
And then comes the rush hour. People will flow into the streets to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. You will see the excitement as the delicious scent of Ramadan bread wafts from bakeries with long queues forming in front of them literally in seconds. Once the Ramadan bread and accompanying desserts are secured, and everyone is safety settled around the table ready to break their fast, the wait for the call to prayer starts.
The Adhan sweeps across the world, from the US, to Bangladesh, from Kuwait to Turkey, like a magnificent wave that moves from one country to another.
With this call to prayer, the fast is broken. This particular moment, in other words, the unparalleled joy of sitting down together at an Iftar dinner with beloved ones, and eating the first thing after a whole day of fasting is a delight to be experienced.
Enjoying a delicious feast amid a background of happy chatter in the company of family and friends, appreciating and giving thanks for the countless different tastes, smells and varieties God has created for us, is another reason why Ramadan is so much cherished.
And it doesn't even matter if the dinner isn't very rich; lavish or modest, Iftar dinners are always and inexplicably satisfying and rich. Moreover, this sweet excitement doesn't ebb away as the month progresses. On the contrary, it is there every day, if not
In this beautiful month, people compete with each other in goodness. Rich families and businesses prepare Ramadan boxes full of delicious foodstuff for the poor.
People rush to invite the less privileged to their Iftar dinners. Municipalities, mosques and aid organisations hold mass dinners for thousands, followed by celebrations and festivities.
There is no such thing as being alone in Ramadan; relatives and friends compete in inviting single friends or family members to make sure no Iftar is spent alone.
In Ramadan, everyone is more loving, more understanding and more compassionate. People strive to be the best version of themselves, ponder over their mistakes and make resolutions to be a better person for the rest of their lives.
We hope that this will be yet another beautiful Ramadan bringing with it its unique beauties.
We wish all Muslims a very blessed Ramadan and pray that it will be the start of peaceful days for our world.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Pravda.ru & Gulf Daily News: