Ramadan is the 9th month in Islamic Calendar. It’s the Holy month for us muslims because on this month we observe full month of fasting. When we say fasting, it doesn’t talk about food and drink alone. It’s about abstaining yourself from music, television, intercourse, smoking and you can add other vices that you normally do and try to prohibit yourself from doing them from after Fajr prayer until sunset. It’s more of dedicating one’s self to Allah during this time by praying, helping/charity, more time with family, reading Quran and others. To simplify it’s about discipline and worship.
So what about those people who don’t fast? Obviously this will be for non-muslims, which are not allowed to eat and drink in public as a sign of respect for fasting people. Office hours are shortened until 2-3pm from the normal working time.
Why we wait sunset? Sunset that’s when Mahgrib prayer will start and it’s the time when we can break our fast as well which is called Iftar. Traditionally and initially break it with dates and a glass of water. Then go for the prayer and come back for more iftar feast. That’s why during this month everything and everyone are very lively until late at night or even sometimes continuously until Suhoor time. Suhoor is when you can have your healthiest meal before the fasting begins again.
There are other traditions also being followed during this month. Like giving Ramadan gifts especially to kids. Displays of different lanterns symbolizes it too. Ramadan tents in mosque will be available even in hotels. Observing public iftar and sharing meal boxes for iftar will surely be there.
Around 27th day of the month, there is what we called Laylat Al Qadr (Night of Power). It’s the holiest day of the year. It’s the night when all prayers will be answered. We don’t know exactly when is this 27th day so muslims will be very observant during the last 10 days of Ramadan.
And few more days left after that, it will be Eid Al Fitr. This marks the end of Ramadan and it’s one of the 2 occasions/holidays being recognized in Islam. Kids are getting some EIDI gifts during this time which they surely love.
For me, a week before Ramadan starts, I’ll start preparing dishes that can be frozen and cook them later on such as Samosa, Shami & Egg Kebab, Potato cutlets, etc. Just to minimise some other food preparations on the day itself. Sometimes we also accept iftar invitations which is definitely very convenient. Also, sometimes hubby gets this Harees from the mosque which became my favourite during Ramadan. We will recook it will olive oil and black pepper.
Suhoor, this is a must to do. I know others may just drink or eat dates then go back to sleep. But to help your body to be prepared for long hours of fasting, we have to eat as much as possible with nutritious and healthy food. That same goes with your meal during iftar. High temperature during daytime is one of the greatest obstacles we’ll encounter.
Let me know your thoughts about Ramadan too! Share them with me below. Ramadan Kareem!