Hope you guys are well. Most of you are probably aware but to those who are not - it's the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and is observed worldwide as a month of fasting (Sawm). We have to fast from dawn until sunset and refrain from food, water, smoking etc.
Here's my story...
Being part of a large family means day to day life is hectic…everyone comes and goes at different times and opportunities to eat together are few.
That’s one of the reasons I look forward to Ramadan each year. Most of my family live close by and it’s one of the only times of the year when we follow the same traditions and routine. Eating and praying together is a big part of Ramadan for me…it’s lovely to reconnect with everyone and share the nostalgia of previous years.
Ramadan is about purifying the mind and body and as a Muslim there are a number of things which are expected and traditionally done to become a better person. We mark the start of Ramadan by giving dates to family and friends. Our family custom is for the brothers to treat their married sisters to the first meal, which they then share with their families. I read a chapter of the Qur’an and pray five times each day to focus my mind, seek forgiveness and future wellbeing from Allah.
I love the charitable focus during Ramadan. The week before Ramadan started, I went to a fundraiser in our local community to help people affected by the water crisis in Somalia. It really helped to get my head ready and my family thinking about charity events we would like to do over the next 30 days. We are expected to give 2.5% of our wealth each year to the less fortunate, but in reality many families give much more and not only during Ramadan. Generosity runs through every generation of my family and we support many charities throughout the year. You might imagine that ‘giving’ is focused on donating to Muslim causes, but it’s not. And ‘giving’ isn’t only about money. We are all affected by the same challenges in life and emotions when we see others facing adversity.
Eid is something we all look forward to - it marks the end of fast and a time when the whole family come together. Getting ready for the celebration is fun – we are all busy the night before decorating the house and preparing the food. I love the excuse to dress up and predict what the guests will be wearing. The men go off to the Mosque together for the Eid prayer. We usually host and it’s pretty manic when the whole family descends on our house, but celebrating together is what it’s all about.