It has been a while since I shared my thoughts or experiences on my page, it has been a busy time for me and my family.
I know that 3 weeks have passed since Ramadan ended, however, I still chose to share my thoughts and feelings about Ramadan, most certainly my favourite time of the year; as we go through our usual emotional preparation, using this time to realign, reflect and re-evaluate our personal growth, understanding our own weaknesses and fears, addressing misunderstandings with grace and dignity, evaluating the challenges that we faced and what we learned from them, and everything around us.
As muslims, during the month long observance of Ramadaan, we fast from sunrise to sunset, 30 days and nil by mouth, not even water, from sunrise to sunset.
This is an incredibly positive time in our lives, an experience that enables our personal spiritual healing and physical well-being as well as everything around us, a time to remind ourselves to be kind to ourselves and others, making the most of everyday; a time of cleansing and self-control, and how we nourish our bodies during this time is central to it.
It is during this time that we also partake in Zakaat (charity based on portion of one’s accumulated wealth) which goes to those facing challenging times, a form of compensation or mandatory “give back” if you will, a mechanism to alleviate poverty; an accountability for our communities.
I love the fact that Ramadaan serves as a reminder that we are part of the Ummah (Arabic: أمة [ˈʊm.mæ]) an Arabic word meaning “community”, a global community.
Ramadan brings family and communities together through the power of faith and prayer.
Unlike in South Africa, in Qatar, we are very fortunate to work reduced hours, (mine in particular, was from 9am-2pm, leaving me with ample time to rest, pray and prepare for Iftar (breaking the fast)
The entire city comes to life in the evenings, For a few minutes as the sun sets, there is a pleasing sense of calm before the sound of the cannon and soon after, the Adhaan (call to prayer) streaming out of mosques, with hands raised we pray with the most heartfelt sincerity in the hope that our fast and efforts have been accepted. We then break our fast with dates and water (dates have been traditionally eaten to break the fast because they serve as a good source of natural sugar, fiber, energy, and essential minerals, and the importance of water and hydration requires no further introduction;) according to the Hadith, (“News” or “Story”, also spelled Hadīt, record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance, second only to the authority of the Qurʾān, the holy book of Islam or the written collection of the traditions of Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ), the Prophet(ﷺ) encouraged breaking the fast with dates and water because of their nutritional value.)
My Fatoor/Iftar menu has certainly changed, a far cry from all sorts of savouries, fried and baked, not to mention the sugar overdose, with an hour and half of total inability to move my limbs; from a food coma to simpler healthier meals and the credit for this goes to my better half. A great time to remind myself to slow down, not overdo it and appreciate and nurture my body.
For me, this year was particularly emotional, still trying to come to grips with my greatest loss in 2015, my best friend, my confidant, my mother (Ayesha), how I miss her…
Ramadan 2017, I suffered further losses, my sister (Nádia), my Uncle Mohammed and Mohammed Yussuf (my housekeeper’s son) at the tender age of 15, Allah knows best (الله اعلم). Trying to accept the losses, remaining grateful and finding solace in my conversations with Allah, while planning my son’s wedding scheduled for the Friday after Eid-ul-Fitr (more about this in my next post),
How was your Ramadan?