WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1: The sun is 93 million miles away from earth but it feels like its a few miles away most days.
Are you feeling hot? Absolutely!
I have never felt so hot, but as my friend and I were discussing this week, as children we could not of had a thermostat system, because we never felt hot — we would play outside for hours, running off to swim off the rocks off North Shore and never having enough.
I do remember, however, that we never went out between noon and 3pm because our parents felt that this was the hottest part of the day and to a large extent they were correct because research has now shown that the hottest part of the day is between 10am and 4pm — our parents knew a little something.
We also joked that our current intolerance to the heat could simply be that we are getting old and can’t tolerate the heat like we used to.
I tend to think that there have been some ecological changes due to the abuse we have reigned on the earth, the ozone layer has definitely taken a beating and the sun, the shining star that it is, is not the same as it was 50 years ago.
Yesterday, I attended a SunSmart Seminar organized by the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre and was thoroughly informed of how important it is to be aware of the sun and the danger not covering up can cause.
The increase of skin cancer is a testament to the importance of being sun-smart.
Parents and teachers need to ensure that the children are supplied with sunscreen with nothing less than a SPF 30 content and that it is used properly for efficient results.
Children should wear bucket or broad brimmed hats and even sunglasses with the correct UV protection is very important.
Important too, is wearing clothing that protects as much skin as possible. Avoid just wearing tank shirts and spaghetti straps without a sleeved shirt underneath.
There is a range of UV protective clothing on the market as well. Remember never to put sunscreen on babies under six months — they should be covered adequately and out of direct sunlight at all times. These are simple steps and more can be found by visiting www.chc.bm.
Rhonda Smith-Simmons, education officer at Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, made such an impression on me that I had to impart some of what I learnt at the seminar through this medium, especially in light of the Cup Match holidays.
But we have to be sensible and protect ourselves from the sun that can and will cause damage to our health over the long run.
“O who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves”(2:183).
Yes, I have been fasting now for 13 days in the blazing heat — only for Allah (swt) am I doing this.
Fasting is the only command that Allah asks us to do for his sake — Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah said, ‘All the deeds of Adam's sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.’”
We are now into the second part of Ramadan, the part of forgiveness.
We seek Allah’s forgiveness sincerely and thus we forgive others sincerely.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said Musa, the son of Imran once asked, “Oh my Lord! Who is the most honourable of your servants? And He replied, the person who forgives even when he is in a position of power” (Baihaqi).
How can we move up the ladder of spiritual development when we hold bitterness and anger towards another person?
While we may have been in the right, is it worth sacrificing our energy on a grudge instead of on growth?
Is there not something strange about asking for God’s forgiveness of our sins while withholding our forgiveness from someone who has hurt us?
One of the distinguishing features of Ramadan is forgiveness. The Prophet explained in one Hadith that Ramadan is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness and whose end is freedom from the hellfire.
This makes it a great time to ask God for His forgiveness. It’s also a wonderful time to open our hearts and cleanse them of grudges and bitterness by forgiving others.
The path to the connection to God is always paved with tests and difficulties. Nobody gains spiritual upliftment without having to prove their strength of character.
This process includes facing all kinds of hardships, including injustice at the hands of others.
If we truly want Allah's love, mercy and forgiveness, we must remember that the hurts of this world are temporary, and we are working towards that which is permanent.
Is it worth being bitter and stunting our growth?
Will it really benefit us?
How will our anger and bitterness change the person who has hurt us?
Let us use these remaining days of forgiveness this Ramadan to open our hearts to those who have wronged us and forgive them as we beg Allah to forgive us.
Bermuda have a Happy and Safe Cup Match and be forgiving when Somerset brings home the cup!