You know that saying people use a lot when its springtime? Its springtime, and love is in the aaaiirrrr!!! Well, I feel like that today, almost: Its Ramadaan, and love and mercy are in the air!!! I swear, I cannot get that thought out of my head, and its almost making me giddy and high–as though I have been sniffing permanent markers or something. 😯 Its quite like that neon light moment I had a few weeks ago.
So, well, what is Ramadaan like, here in these United States? We live in a large metropolis, so Muslims and Muslim-owned groceries and restaurants are quite plentiful. Yet, our feel for Ramadaan is quite different from places where Ramadaan is a majorly festive occasion. We don’t have adjusted working hours, we don’t get the Adhan as a reminder to break our fast, and whatever else that you would find in the Muslim world. Instead, we kind of have to create our own Ramadaan atmosphere.
Generally, people in the Indo-Pak community start planning their iftaar parties. The few days or a week before Ramadaan, everybody is busy marking their calendars for when they will be hosting their friends, and when they will be visiting friends. The community really makes a conscious effort to pull together.
Our house, however, has to be a wee bit different. Not really by choice, I guess, but more because of our how our family is set up. Our father and brother both are furiously getting ready to perform the Taraweeh salaah; all day, we hear the sounds of Qur’an coming from them, with each correcting the other, and saying, “What did you just read?! Where in the Qur’an are you? Oh ok, ok, ok, you are doing fine.” Then five minutes later, “I’m stuck, I don’t know how I am going to manage tonight!” And on and on; may Allah help them and make it easy for them, ameen. And since they are to be up there in the front lines, they must eat a very light iftaar: nothing too greasy, nothing too cold, nothing too hot. With all this going on, a kind of controlled chaos, having guests over, or even going over to other people’s houses is a sheer impossibility.
But I LOVE IT THIS WAY! I know that once I leave my parent’s house, I will never have a Ramadaan like this ever again…so I savor these moments (even though there is no sign of me moving on and out anytime soon, alhamdulillah!)
And the other change of routine that is an absolute must in our house: setting the floor for eating. All year round, we eat at the table…but come Ramadaan, it just feels weird. There was one Ramadaan, a few years back, when we thought we could just go ahead and leave the dining room alone, leave the table as is, and just eat there. The first iftaar comes, everyone looked at each other worriedly, and then went ahead and ate. The next day, same thing. By the third day, when Mom said, “About the table..” we didn’t even let her finish, we just moved the table into the family room, and resumed with normal Ramadaan table manners! So, the floor is ready, ever since, every Ramadaan. 🙂
I am just so happy that the devil is being locked up for a whole month. Inshallah, I hope I get to complete more of the Qur’an this year. Its Ramadaan, and love and mercy are in the air!!!