A Ramadan Memory

We are officially two weeks into Ramadan and it has been a challenge.

The first week is always the most difficult because I think about the long haul of the holiday. I can’t eat or drink from sunrise to sunset for the next thirty days? WAH! It is hard but as time goes by it becomes easier for me. Each week that passes inspires me because it means the end is coming soon.

I wanted to share some Ramadan memories.

When I was a little girl, I loved Ramadan. It was a game for me. My entire family would fast and we would have a huge dinner when the sunset. I was in charge of setting up the dinner table. I would fold the napkins properly and layout our fanciest china. I would also set up the dessert table for after the main courses.

My mom would put together the most delicious dinner. There was always rice and a couple of sides. She would make a salad and French fries for me.

One of the reasons Ioved Ramadan was because of the peacefulness in my home. There were fewer fights, no alcohol, and more family time. It was nice.

We would wake up at 4 am for breakfast and it was so exciting for me to wake up for breakfast, My mom would warm up leftovers and cook some eggs. We would all sit on the floor on a mat and eat.

As I got older, Ramadan stayed the same in our house but there were changes. Few family members fasted but my mom still cooked. The month feels very special when I had others fasting with me. It made me sad when my siblings wouldn’t be fasting but it isn’t my place to judge.

I stopped setting table too because I had to work in the evenings or go to school.

Life changed which is normal.

Today, I spend most of my days working which is a good and bad thing during Ramadan. It is a good thing because helps time pass by. Trust me the day feels long when you have nothing to do. It is bad because I don’t always get to have dinner with my family and I get stuck at work sometimes.

Some people ask me why I fast?
Just the other day..my mechanic said “are you that religious because I am Jewish but I don’t fast?” My manager said, “why do you do that to your body?” Everyone is extremely shocked when I say I don’t drink water all day either.

Ramadan takes a lot of discipline and it’s really hard. Still, the entire month is a process. For me, it starts out hard but it becomes easier as time goes by. My faith increases as the days go by. Honestly, if I didn’t fast then I would feel guilt. No one is forcing me. It is something I want to do as long as I can.

The hardest Ramadans were during Summer….the days were long…and it was hot. This year at least the days are a little shorter.

Ramadan starts eight days earlier every year. My dad made me sad the other day. He mentioned how he will probably not experience Ramadan during Summer again in his lifetime. I wonder how he feels? He probably remembers Ramadan with his parents and siblings and now they are all gone. The circle of life is so bitter-sweet.

I am scared that the future generations of our family will lose their religion. In America, Christianity is the main religion and it is really hard being Muslim. At least where I live.

In Muslim countries, everyone is fasting, and there is a call to prayer five times a day. Everyone stops and prays. During Ramadan, stores close early to accommodate the month-long holiday. It sounds beautiful and someday I would love to spend Ramadan in Turkey. I’ve heard it is so beautiful and peaceful. I wish more Muslim countries were at peace. I do love my home, America and I know certain cities have a higher Muslim population like New Jersey. I just have to do the best I can.

Ramadan also helps with the remembrance of God and the important things in life. When you are hungry and thirsty all day…I have no time to overthink. I need to save my brainpower.

The ten days of Ramadan are very special and we are almost there.

Happy Ramadan to all.

Love,

Frshta

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