Greetings everyone, hope you’re all well! I thought I’d pop a few lines this Ramadan after all, guess blogging is addictive! Just a quick update on our fasting here in England, which is about 18 hours altogether from dawn (3.20am currently) to dusk (9.20pm currently). Everyday the onset of dawn increases by a couple of minutes and the start of dusk lessens by a couple of minutes. Which means by the end of Ramadan (around 7th or 8th August) we would finish our Suhoor meal by 4am (onset of dusk) and have our Iftar meal by 8.50pm. Even though our fasting is longer compared to my homeland which is about 13 hours, Alhamdulillah we’ve been able to perform it without much difficulty (including my older children). I must also mention the current heatwave in England, temperatures been soaring to 30c most days for several weeks now without any sign of rain. Not something the Brits are used to, this prolonged intense heat.
Another point to note is that fasting is not just about refraining from food and drink; it also involves guarding what you hear, say and do. Which is the bit I find difficult to be honest; especially when it comes to dealing with my moody teenager and my cheeky 4 year old, the whole world has to revolve around them it seems! I am supposed to exercise extra patience and refrain from nagging at them in this holy month, try as I might I just cannot do it! May God forgive me! 😦 Anyway, I’ve posted a picture of one of our recent Iftars, the typical food we have to break our fast with. We would then perform our Maghrib prayers, followed by a more elaborate meal (although lesser in amount) akin to dinner. The next prayer Isha’ starts about an hour later followed by further extra prayers which last till midnite. We then go to bed briefly before waking up for our morning meal around 2.45am, in preparation for next day’s fasting. After performing our prayer at dawn we go back to bed again till morning. We go about our daily routine as normal but try to read as much Quran as possible whenever we can. My husband usually completes his Quran reading thrice each Ramadan, I try my best to finish once.
Another point worth mentioning is the sense of togetherness Ramadan brings. We exchange Iftar food with our neighbours and we also do group Iftars. This weekend my children will be having their close friends over to our house for a few hours of play and Iftar. I have a ladies’ Iftar invite to attend at a friend’s soon and my hubby’s attending a forthcoming Iftar with his regular Inter-faith group (the non-Muslims will be there too). We might join a few more collective Iftars especially towards the end of Ramadan. I like the community spirit these group Iftars and sharing of food bring us, especially as I tend to miss my nearest and dearest back in my homeland most at this time of the year. The spirit of Ramadan is stronger back home for sure, but having said that I’m very fortunate to be here in England where the atmosphere is still good. Even my local superstore has a whole aisle full of Ramadan stock as you can see below! Ramadan is a month when you feel more tired than usual but spiritually heightened. It’s the month to focus and feed on your spiritual needs rather than your physical ones. End of my Ramadan chatter, I leave you with a short clip which I found to explain to my children about what fasting does to the body. Take care!
(Don’t forget to click on the Ramadan video clips on my right-hand side widgets for more insight into Ramadan!)
Ramadan stock at my local superstore