Ramadan 16, 1437. June 21,2016
Ramadan of the past.
Growing up in Doha, Ramadan has always been a ‘festival’. The entire place has a transformation. There is really an aura of peace and tranquillity.
In our household of six, Ramadan is always the favourite month of the year. There is an extra vigour for prayer and Qur’an recitation. Suhoor is as in every household – a funny drama. 4 almost sleeping kids trying to munch food at the wee hours while dad helping us recite the “Niyyah” and trying to entertain us with his childhood stories of Ramadan.
Mom always encouraged us to finish reciting the Holy Qur’an at least once during the month. There is a sweetness to the feeling of reaching the last Juzu’ and reading it off from memory instead of reciting. Alhamdulilah. Going for Taraweeh and Qiyam ul lail with her was another exciting routine of Ramadan( ..and meeting friends at the masjid!)
Every year we used to have a Qur’an memorization competition in our local club during Ramadan. This encouraged us to brush off and remind/relearn our Hifz and also to learn more. Add to it the exciting gifts and cash offers when you win the competition.
There was/is always one or two ifthar get together with all of our family members here in doha. Besides the extremely delicious food, we looked forward to spending time with cousins.
The community ifthar get together is another memory from my childhood which I truly cherish. Every family cooked and bought one dish to the community club where we all broke the fast together. The wide array of dishes made by different people added to the happiness. Also hanging out with friends.
For ifthar at home, we usually had fruit juices, semolina porridge, fries – cutlet, samosa, puffs etc – staple of every desi ifthar. Ramadan is not complete in a Malabar household with out pathiri and chicken curry.
All the prayers and Ibadah were intensified during the final ten days. Also Sadaqah.
Finally, the bittersweet feeling of finishing Ramadan. Also the nagging thought of ‘Did I utilise Ramadan enough?’ ‘Will I meet another Ramadan?’
…and then finally the happiness on Eid day morning with new dress and henna and having a community Eid prayer at the Eid ground.
As I wrote this I realized I have so much of work to do to make Ramadan interesting and memorable for my daughter…something she will look forward to like I did even when I was in a place like Bangalore, with being the only one around fasting. Well, that’s a story for another day.
(Linking it to Qatar bloggers link up at Creativity with Kay!)