Posted by Asmi on September 1st, 2009
Some of you might know that the holy month of Ramadan started a few days ago but for most of you that don’t know what Ramadan is, let me tell you a little bit about it.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Lunar Islamic calendar. Compared to solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan change, moving forward about ten days each year. It’s the month of fasting, in which Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and indulging in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until sunset. The main purpose of this holy month is to teach you patience, modesty, spiritually and to bring you closer to God. During this blessed month Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance, help resisting everyday evils, and try to purify themselves from self-restraint and good deeds. They even pay compulsory tax called Zakkah to the poor or less fortunate at the rate of 2.5 percent for all their savings of the year. It is also the month in which the first verses of Qur’an arrived to prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).
For a large number of people, the common concept of fasting is that the rich must realize the sufferings of the poor and the pitiful conditions in which they live in.
When the first day of the following month Shawwal starts, Muslims celebrate a holiday called Eid ul-Fitr (Eid means “festivity” in Arabic, while Fitr means “to break the fast” and can also mean “nature” from the word “fitrah” also, according to my dad “Fitr” means charity given to poor on Eid based on every member of the family).
Now let me tell you how we celebrate Ramadan and Eid in my house.
As you all know I’m from a Muslim Indian family that’s settled in Kuwait, so our way of practicing Ramadan is a bit different from Arab’s, but that doesn’t mean we worship any differently from other Muslims around the world, it just has a pinch of Indian culture in it.
Alright, let’s begin with the pre fasting meal. Pre-fasting meal is a meal we have a few minutes before dawn. It all depends on how you’re body and mind work and how you prepare yourself by eating whatever you feel will help you survive the day. I’ll just give you an example: I eat something light before fasting, have a glass of milk and that’s it for me, I’m full. My dad on the other hand, has a complete meal and my mom; she’ll just have some cereal. And that’s our pre-fasting meal. Some people just drink a glass of water and fast too.
Honestly speaking, I never realize how time flies during Ramadan, because we’re all usually busy with praying or preparing for “Iftar” or “Fatour” or the breaking of the fast and it’s quite fun around the house too. Some people get a little cranky from fasting, and sometimes it’s fun to annoy them a little, like my brothers do to my mother. For me, Ramadan has that feel to it, that thing that just makes you so happy that everyone is around and good stuff is being made, everyone is praying together, there’s this energy around the house that just makes everything feel… great.
Okay, now let me tell you how the “breaking of the fast” is done in my house.
Usually, almost every Muslim, break the fast by eating a date, and drinking some Zamzam (holy water for Muslims) or just some normal water. Now the date I just mentioned there, is NOT a date where you go out with someone, it’s a small tropical fruit or a dry fruit with a long seed/stone in it. Here’s a picture of it It’s mostly found in the Middle East since it only grows in desert areas. It’s really delicious; I always break my fast by having it and drinking some water.
Anyway, that’s how you break the fast in many houses. In my house, after breaking the fast by having a date and we also have a lot of other items to eat. I’ll tell you exactly how our dining table looks with all the items (mouth watering already). The first thing that I look to eat (after breaking the fast of course), is fruit chat! Yep, that’s right. There’s this really cool dish made in my house which I adore. Its some fruits (apple, banana, orange, pear, grapes, guava etc) chopped into small pieces and mixed with some spices, it’s really yummy. Then there’s the usual Indian food that my mom makes which is; sambosa’s, potato chips, chicken soup, and a lot of other stuff, I don’t know how describe. So basically, it’s like a feast every day in my house.
So, here was a little info about Ramadan and how Asmi celebrates it.
Hope you guys liked it.
P.S. I would like to know what you guys think about this blog and if you have any questions feel free to ask me.