Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Marking the Start of Ramadan Posts - Ramadan Mubarak to You!

This is my first year experiencing Ramadan as a married person. To add to that I am away from home in UK and to further make things more interesting, it's the Summers here and the fasting days are just over 16 hours long. I was used to 12 hour fasting days and the comfort of having prepared suhoor (Ramadan meal at sunrise) and iftar (Ramadan meal at sunset).

It's only been a few days since Ramadan has started and I've already learnt a few things.
A) Ramadan is a great moment for dawah. I was so touched when my boss at work came to realize that my Ramadan was approaching, she thought about making Ramadan easier for me more than I was thinking about it. She wants to make sure she doesn't eat lunch in front of me and wants to hide all the tempting chocolate goodies we girls stock up at work. She was curious about Ramadan and how it is different here than abroad.
B) This reminded me of Ramadan in college in San Francisco where a few of my white friends would fast with me in solidarity with Muslims suffering at the hands of imperialism and war on terror (i.e Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis to name a few). My South Indian friend would wake up with me for suhoor because she felt bad that I had to eat in my dorm room alone.
C) It was also the moment when I came to really admire a Jew teacher of mine. Out of all the other professors who I had to ask for a holiday on the day of Eid, she was the most forth-coming. In fact she was almost upset that I had to "ask" for it. She was the first person to have taught me to demand it as a right!
D) But most importantly, what I realized was how much Allah wants to make life for us easy only if we approach it with half the right attitude. 16 hours is a pretty long fasting day undoubtedly and initially I was only surrounded by Muslims who were near-complaining about the hours and suggesting that every person in their right frame of mind should skip it. They made it sound like we would be exempted because 16 hours is too long any way. One person in particular suggested that as a good wife she should explain to her husband how its bad for his health that he should fast while working. It makes money more important than what Allah has asked for. But then I also came across those who preached that patience will make it easy for us and our bodies will suggest. Many thanks to Allah, surely not even the first fasting day was tough leave alone the rest. We have not been feeling thirsty or hungry and for some odd reason I feel more energetic at work than the days I am thinking more about food.
E) The above instance reminded of the fact that "when you take one step towards Allah, Allah takes 10 steps towards you." We have been thinking about going for tarawih but initially thought that we would have to work out our time table and just stand by our resolve alone and walk it to the nearest mosque. Just the night before Ramadan, we only came across old friends or neighbors who themselves were thinking of going for tarawih every night starting this year. Alhamdulillah, Allah sure does have ways of making life easier for us.

With this note in mind, through out Ramadan I am going to be posting notes related to different aspects of Ramadan lifestyle. If you do have any input, suggestions or comments feel free to post here.

What is Ramadan for Muslims

Have a Muslim colleague or class fellow? Curious about what Ramadan fasting is and when Ramadan starts? How long are Muslims supposed to fast?
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Preparing for the Fasting During Ramadan

Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims. It's a month very different from other months requiring great deal of preparation. What is the best way to prepare for Ramadan?
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Tips for Surviving Ramadan in College

Being a student and living abroad can be both a lonely and the most rewarding experience. The key is to face Ramadan with the right attitude and prepare with confidence.
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Making the Most out of Ramadan

Some Muslims may be inadequately prepared for the month. But even if Ramadan is already well underway, it's never too late to make the most of this Islamic month.

NHS Supports Muslims in UK

National Health Service in Britain is committed to providing Muslims with the best possible health care during Ramadan. The Guide gives advice on foods and health.
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Getting Children Ready for Ramadan Fasting

Tips for parents who want to instill in their children the spirit of Ramadan so that when fasting is eventually compulsory for the kids, they can easily manage Ramadan.

Ramadan Soul Cleanse

Remember wht U loved abt sumone with whom you are now estranged, reach out to them with luv.

Ramadan is Fun for Children

Parents and teachers often look for ways to make Ramadan a learning yet exciting experience for children. Here are some suggestions on how this can be done. Read more:

3 Ways to Make Eid Exciting For Children

It is time for Eid - the Muslim holiday for sharing love. There is lots that can be done to inculcate the spirit of Eid in children. Here are some Eid ideas for children.
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