Ramadan is flying by!
Maybe not for everyone, but I’m certainly feeling that way.
I was a little apprehensive that I wasn’t prepared enough, but then I decided to be conscious about getting up for sahoor (pre dawn meal) every day. It definitely makes a difference!
One thing I’ve noticed though about this year, is that so many people are speaking up about a variety of topics related to Ramadan. It seems like my news feed is cluttered with so many click-bait type articles.
*Lonely iftar (breaking the fast) for converts
*Websites touting “top 10 Ramadan meals to keep you hydrated”
*Articles about places that will have Muslims fasting for more than 20 hours a day.
*Special Ramadan only deals
*Articles about how Ramadan is not about feeling what those less fortunate go through.
And on and on it goes.
I think it’s great more people are finding platforms to voice their thoughts and opinions, but at the same time, I feel like it’s becoming more and more noise and less and less substance.
I don’t mind the venting and the awareness to certain issues these articles can bring. But for some reason this year, I feel like I have seen more complaining than gratitude.
And I say this with the best of intentions. This probably comes off as though I’m complaining too now! lol
But really, I think that at least for myself, I want this Ramadan to be about connecting back with my spirituality.
I’m doing my best to read Quran every day. I can’t remember the last time I picked it up and really dedicated myself to reading it. I’m trying to get all my prayers in on time and not to miss any. I used to beat myself up so much if I was late, and then end up missing the entire prayer and forget to make it up. It was a vicious cycle.
Now, I’m focused on not letting other things get in the way of my journey to become closer to God.
Ramadan is a great month to reflect on myself and my goals and where I need to be in my life.
It’s a time to reset our spiritual batteries and get back on track. God is forgiving and merciful and I think we tend to forget that. We end up wrapped in negativity and pointing out everyone’s faults and “why aren’t people nicer to me” or “why didn’t they include me in that event” etc.
I speak from experience here haha!
I was definitely feeling a little down before Ramadan, because it is lonely for me. Before I got married, I went to iftar dinners all the time with friends and family. We had people over and we’d go to their houses. Then I moved to Chicago and it was full of cliques and groups that didn’t think to invite the new couple in town. It was hard too, because a lot of people here have grown up in the area and have tons of extended family. For me, it’s just my husband and I and our two kids.
Not to mention, there is a trend here where people don’t always do personal invites (which in my opinion are more meaningful to connecting with one another and checking in on each other). Instead I remember one year being invited somewhere and thinking “This is nice, we’ll get to know the family better”. When we arrived, I was shocked that there were literally about 150 people there. It was loud and noisy and I couldn’t find a place to sit and almost missed breaking my fast because the line was so long to get dates lol.
But, that is neither here nor there. I’m using the example just to illustrate some of the experiences that have opened my eyes to the fact that I want to make my Ramadan a personal one. I’ve tried to let go of expectations and disappointments this year.
However, I do want to touch on the fact that there are lots of people who feel exceptionally lonely during this time of year. Single people, converts, those who are new to a city. And I urge you to invite them for iftar, don’t let them eat alone. Let them know you care. Believe me it makes a difference. And if you go to a huge group iftar, notice the people sitting alone and go make conversation. There are people who are too shy to reach out and say they are feeling the way they are (myself included hehe).
I pray you have a wonderful Ramadan and I hope that this post was of some benefit!
What is your experience like during this month?