Tag Archives: fasting

marhaban ya ramadan

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Ramadan is, in its essence, a month of humanist spirituality.

The philosophy of fasting calls upon us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves the better to free ourselves. To fast is to identify our dependencies, and free ourselves from them.

Fasting is, first and foremost, an exercise for identifying and managing adversity in all its forms. With faith, in full conscience, fasting calls women and men to an extra degree of self-awareness. Professor Tariq Ramadan

MAY THE SPIRIT OF RAMADAN

STAY IN OUR HEARTS AND

ILLUMINATE OUR SOULS FROM WITHIN.

HAVE A BLESSED MONTH

PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO ALL.

ramadan2015

 

 

ramadan ramblings 2

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Greetings all! I noticed many searches for ‘Ramadan Iftar Food’ on my blog, well, I’ve compiled them here for you! I cook very simple meals, nothing too complicated! I mentioned in my previous post how we can’t really eat much during this year’s 19 hour fast here in the UK, well it’s true! By the time we break our fast at dusk (around 9.30pm), pray Maghrib and eat the main meal, it’s already 10.30pm. Which means we only have 4 hours left before we resume fasting, Suhoor (the morning meal) ends around 2.45am! We’re still kind of full from Iftar but it’s encouraged to eat a bit more to get us going for the next day! Suhoor is like breakfast time for us; cereals, toasts and buns usually. This Ramadan has proven to be the most challenging one so far, I pray God make it easier for me in the days to come! I’ve included 2 more Ramadan songs below; one melodious and calm, the other very upbeat and will wake you up for sure! Someone like me needs to be woken up big time this Ramadan! I wish all of you peace and blessings in this holy month, remember us in your prayers…

Note : My food photos not intended to entice you whilst fasting in Ramadan, nor is it to show off my moderate cooking skills. They are for those looking for simple dishes to prepare in this blessed month. Thank you.

Don’t miss out on my previous Ramadan posts! 

my simple Ramadan dishes for iftar

my simple Ramadan dishes for Iftar

The upbeat one!

The calm melodious one!

ramadan ramblings

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Greetings everyone! I finally had a proper chance to sit down and blog this entry, what a bliss! Hubby’s at work, son’s at school, big daughter’s attending ‘taster day’ at her future secondary school (she officially starts in September) and my youngest two are at their weekly art class. I don’t like to blog when they’re around as I feel my focus then should be on them. I normally go about grocery/food shopping at this time, but my routine’s changed a bit now that it’s our fasting month, Ramadan. How has it been so far? Well, fasting for 19 hours here in the UK is rather long to be honest. I started fasting since 7 years old back in my homeland, over there it’s the standard 13 hour fast every year. Since we’re close to the Equator, we do not have the 4 seasons. We have summer all year round, hot tropical 30c! Even though it’s not compulsory for children to fast (nor the infirm, elderly, women in their menses/pregnancy/breastfeeding, travellers etc), the atmosphere in an Islamic country like Malaysia makes it easier for young ones to practise this once a year obligatory act.

Here in England, however, it’s a different story. It’s more of an effort, shall I say. It has to come from within you. That’s why they have the term practising Muslim and non-practising Muslim here in England. There are many who are Muslims by name only! Practising Islam can be a struggle when you are in the minority. On the other side of the coin, you hear of Muslims who are extremists and terrorists, they give Islam a bad name! They always make me boil inside. But Alhamdulillah the world is filled with regular Muslims like myself, I’m sure you know by now what I’m like after reading my blog chattering for a while! We only want peace in this world and paradise in the Hereafter, Ameen. We try our best to uphold our faith and treat everyone/everything else in the planet with love and respect.

Anyway, I am quite fortunate actually as I live within a small Muslim community whereby there are 4 mosques, several ‘halal’ butchers and madrasas (Quran schools). Practising my faith isn’t that difficult, as long as the effort comes from within me. When I first got married, the fasting month here fell in Winter (the Islamic months are based on the lunar calendar). Fasting was a breeze, around 8 hours!But now after almost 17 years, the fasting month falls in mid-Summer where the daylight is very long, we’re in total darkness for only 6 hours! I have no complaints of hunger and thirst from my fast this year, but I suffer from a bit of headache several hours before breaking fast time at dusk. This is mainly due to the lack of sleep, which will adjust itself once our bodies are familiar with new routine.

Apart from that, I also find that we can’t eat much at all at iftar (breaking fast) time. It’s just so late by the time we finish our meal (10.30pm), we feel very tired from the long day! That’s why I cook very simple dishes for iftar this year, alongside our usual dates, fruit salad and samosas. I suppose it helps if you sleep for a bit during the day but that’s almost impossible as it’s just so bright out there! My older two are fasting properly this year as they have both hit puberty. They are doing rather well, as they have had practice (do half-days, every few days etc, whatever they could manage) since they were 7. My older two love competing with each other, I remember how they tried to outdo each other in the number of hours and days they could fast.

Well, all that has paid off. Alhamdulillah, now that it’s compulsory upon them to fast, they act upon it willingly. They are happy to be fasting, one of the rewards of a fasting person is when they break their fast; the relief and pleasure that comes in enjoying all the tasty food in front of them. My neighbours who are great cooks have been giving us delicious iftar dishes too! I feel sad to think of those people in poverty whereby fasting is a daily occurrence. This serves as a great reminder for us, to be grateful for what we have always and never take them for granted. Anyway, enough said for now, I leave you with several images and another Ramadan song, do watch the video clip of a Muslim family in America during the fasting month. Take good care!

Do read all my previous Ramadan posts, just type ‘Ramadan’ in my Search Widget on the right hand side! 🙂

he never fails to surprise me with flowers every now and then, my ramadan bouquet from hubby

hubby’s favourite starter for Iftar, onion bhajias (left) and potato/onion bhajias (right)

chicken cutlets (right) and lamb pasties (left) ideal as light Iftar meals, served with salad/chips/wedges

my youngest with her ramadan henna done by her big sister

my lil one checking on our goldfish

yes, we have 5 goldfish in the old bathtub!

my summer display

pale pink roses lifts my mood

Oh God! Please make the rest of Ramadan easier for me to get closer to you, especially in this year’s challenging 19 hour long fast! Fasting from food and drink is manageable with practice (pray my health remains good) but refraining from bad habits and behaviour and increasing my religious acts may be a struggle! Please do forgive and guide this humble soul!!!

 

welcome Ramadan!

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Ramadan is a month of fasting, self-evaluation and spiritual growth.

Ramadan is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking.

Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, help the poor and needy, do away with bad habits — essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings.

dates to break our fast with

dates to break our fast with

shall we get this one, mummy?

shall we get this one, Mummy?

melons a must to break our fast in summer

melons ideal to quench our thirst after the 19 hour-long summer fasting in England

nature couple

 Wishing everyone a blessed and peaceful Ramadan!

You lift me up high
You spread my wings
And fly me to the sky
I feel so alive
It’s like my soul thrives in your light
But how I wish you’d be
Here with me all year around

Ramadan Ramadan,
Ramadanu ya habib
(Ramadan, Ramadan,
Ramadan O beloved)
Ramadan Ramadan
Laytaka dawman qareeb
(Ramadan, Ramadan,
How I wish you were always near)

Love is everywhere
So much peace fills up the air
Ramadan month of the Quran
I feel it inside of me, strengthening my Iman
But how I wish you’d be
Here with me all year around

I just love the way you make me feel
Every time you come around you breathe life into my soul
And I promise that
I’ll try throughout the year
To keep your spirit alive
In my heart it never dies
Oh Ramadan!

ramadan end

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Hello everyone! Just a quick update from my little corner of the world. We’re at Ramadan end now, 3 more days to go before we complete our fasting month and celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Alhamdulillah, this year’s Ramadan has been really good for my family and I. Because my children are all older now, Ramadan seems much more enjoyable. The older ones fasted fully from day one, they also read the Holy Quran everyday, Inshallah completing it by Eid. The girls and I pray together at home, it brings us closer together. They also help me out a lot, right now we’re busy baking Eid cookies! My hubby’s doing Iktikaf at our local mosque in the last 10 days of Ramadan, my son joins him there for prayers, Quran reading and Iftar (I pack them food). Ramadan has certainly strengthened our family ties and values in more ways than one. This blessed fasting month also draws us nearer to the community around us. I’ve exchanged Iftar dishes with 7 of my neighbours throughout Ramadan, we’re blessed with so much food!

We’ve also attended a couple of Iftar gatherings with friends where we shared our cooking. I also prepared some light snacks for Iftar at our local community centre, mainly for the Eastern Europe asylum seekers/immigrants. Ramadan is definitely a month of giving and sharing, it brings out the best in everyone. I shall be very busy indeed in the next few days, making the most of what’s left of Ramadan to please my Lord. And to prepare for our Eid celebration, all in moderation of course. I have mixed feelings at Ramadan end, part of me feels saddened to leave this wonderful atmosphere we have. Another part of me feels joyous, caught up with the excitement of the Eid celebration in a few days time. As simple as it may be with my family, it’s still a festive affair. The girls are already discussing their new clothes, having mehndi on their hands, exchanging Eid cookies with the neighbours, eating my lamb biryani, getting together with their friends, having mini fireworks display with their papa and brother and having a family Eid outing at the weekend! Thank you Allah for the many blessings in our life; for Your Endless Love, Guidance and Mercy.

my girls busy baking Eid cookies

my girls busy baking Eid cookies

my son busy reading the Holy Quran

my son busy reading the Holy Quran