Ramadan Kareem: Time to Nourish the Soul!

Ramadan is just a few days away and people are busily gearing up for the blessed month in happy anticipation. Fortunately, people here in Saudi Arabia have the luxury of revised and more relaxed work schedules and conveniently matched school timings. Whereas, other Muslims around the world have to manage with the usual cartload of work and regular year round clock-ins. But irrespective of where they are and in what circumstances destiny divines and divides them, the enthusiasm and zeal for Ramadan is almost the same.

I have already started receiving those cute Whatsapp messages with a big samosa gif and a coming soon caption to it since two weeks now. After all, fasting and feasting do have only an ‘e’ to differentiate their scripted selves. With all the spiritual energy radiating forth from the month ahead and the whole idea of compacting a deeper connection with our creator, the overly enthusiastic food drive does seem a little out of place though, doesn’t it?

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We tend to strictly associate Ramadan with the concept of fasting and the almost overindulgence in food later during iftaar (the time when we break our fast). This isn’t a blanket verdict about all Muslims, it’s merely about a good deal of sidetracking that a few of us have given into. And this significant inclination towards the feasting aspect has actually muddled our perspective about the holy month to a great extent. When fasting actually begins we control ourselves and hold on to those hunger pangs till Iftaar only to unleash the glutton inside as soon as the Azaan (call for prayer) begins. Suddenly all the virtue and self-control a single day of fasting instills washes off in the next 10 – 15 minutes and food becomes the only worthwhile obsession. I am equally guilty of all that I mention here and sincerely wish to work on my food fanaticism.

And how can we talk about Ramadan and not mention iftaar parties. Those are the most meticulously planned out events during this month, considering the loads of good deeds that one can earn when you offer food during iftaar for those fasting. The sad bit is when we lose sight of the actual goal and only concentrate on outshining our neighbours and friends by the wide variety of delectable goodies and the unnecessary dainties to deck the iftaar table. Wasn’t it supposed to be about sharing blessings and being thankful for everything we have in our lives? Iftaar is such a beautiful and blessed time when families, friends and sometimes complete strangers get together in gratitude and food is definitely an important and gratifying aspect but not the main objective.

Ramadan is the holy month that reestablishes and reinforces our spiritual life. It helps us learn about discipline in all aspects of life, teaches us how to get a grip on our anger, helps us resist temptations, nurtures solidarity and fosters feelings of empathy in us for those less fortunate. We discover the joy of sharing and extending goodwill regardless of caste, class, race and religion. These are the most important and valuable lessons that are honed in us through this blessed month.

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We all know it is not just about abstaining from food for an entire day but about not giving into immediate impulses. It’s the month of the Quran, the means of guidance for all humanity and not just Muslims. It’s a means of empowering the soul and reacquainting ourselves with the true meaning of being a productive and valuable member of society by practicing kindness, tolerance and good virtue.

There is nothing wrong about planning out yummy treats for iftaar but it’s unfortunate when the entire objective of Ramadan gets swamped by this food fest agenda. Even the hours and hours of precious time getting drained behind all the food preparation could be better utilized gaining a better perspective and real understanding about religion. I personally plan to keep my iftaar treats stress and fuss free this year and it’s not going to be the easiest thing with me being the insanely perfect foodie. I seriously start hallucinating scrumptious dumplings lazily drowning in fragrant rose flavored syrup right before iftaar at times. We all have our weak moments.

My Ramadan wish list is pretty simple this year. I want to gain a deeper understanding of the Quran, discipline myself, rework on my priorities in life, and hopefully try to be a more mindful individual. I don’t know much about my religion and I think I really need to take the time to learn more and most of what I put forth in writing are but strong reminders directed at me first.

Do let me know what you are looking forward to this Ramadan? What are your goals and what does your ‘To do list for Ramadan’, look like?

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36 thoughts on “Ramadan Kareem: Time to Nourish the Soul!

  1. Ibrahim

    Good one Shaheen
    Even the non Muslim brothers notice that we are competing with time wasting if that parties inviting VIPs for showoff. Imam of area in our subcontinent fully booked for daily ifthar party.
    Hope we plan more hours on Ibaada as this very special guest “Ramadan” passes away so quickly, many of us tend loose precious hours, days and month
    Start mailing your writings to magazines to reach larger visibility

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dearashblog1

    Good luck on your journey of understanding. It is awesome you are pushing yourself to know more about things you care about!

    Much love,
    Ashley | dearash.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t celebrate Ramadan as I am a Christian, but it is always interesting to hear what other religions do! I love how passionate you are about your religion and I have a learned a lot about Ramadan from your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mohammed Ashfaq

    I miss having my parents and entire family together for Ramadan. It is a definitely a time for getting closer to our creator and a time for togetherness. Great thoughts here! Keep it up!! I hope there’s more to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love learning about different cultures. It always reminds me that we have more in common than we think. I have similar goals well: need to work on my self-discipline and be more mindful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is so interesting to learn about this. I think what you are saying about Ramadan losing its meaning to the materialistic ways we have as humans (be it food or gifts as is in my culture), and I would be willing to bet that most of us have felt this about our holiday’s losing their meaning. Thank you for sharing your insights!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have never heard of Ramadan, so I learned something new today! I think I would utterly fail at fasting. I have little self control when it comes to food. Thanks for the great read!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am not a Muslim but I respect your commitment to learning more about your faith and I think you are right when the event should be more about self-improvement and helping others than the food we cook. Well said x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not a muslim but I heard about Ramadan and it’s practiced in many muslim countries. I learned it from friends that it’s a month of fasting which then followed by the New Year (eid) celebration. Since Ramadan is just a few days a way, Happy fasting to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amber

    This was an interesting read. I don’t do anything for Ramadan but I have heard of it before. I always like to learn about other people’s cultures and beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Although I’m not Muslim, I can definitely relate to the period after fasting where a level of gluttony takes over. I agree with your sentiments and that period has made me question myself a few times as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t celebrate Ramadan, but I have learned a lot from your post. It is such an eye opener to discover that it is more than just fasting, but an actual practice to make you reflect and learn to control your implulse.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Such an interesting read! I had heard of Ramadan but I wasn’t ensure what it entitled – though your article has definitely given me an insight into it! I wish you luck during your celebration of Ramadan!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mehtab Ziauddin

    I am amazed & dumbstruck how even your simple article about a well known subject among us Muslims can garner such a wonderful response among the Non- Muslims. I respect the way they came forward to put their point across.
    Well, once again Hats off to you dear Sis to enlighten everyone with your words, they are just so humbly appropriate & shine out the spirit of Ramadan so beautifully.
    This year In shaa Allah even I have made a resolution to understand & bring a change in me by adhering to the principles of our religion (though in a moderate way) by keeping in mind the real spirit of Ramadan & trying to get a deeper insight into our religion.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Shaheen, they are as always simply awe-inspiring…..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Elizabeth O.

    I did not know much about Ramadan, I do know the basics. I have much respect for this tradition and I think it’s great that people are doing it until now. It’s a lovely way to nourish your soul, definitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Farheen Assadi

    ETo be very honest my ramdan routine is nothing different. The way i hold my routine otherwise is just the same.
    Ever since I comprehended this selfish jealous competitive world I knew clear in my head it’s got to be this salaah & Quran that should keep me safe.
    For example my routine now is waking up early offer nafils read Quran with that raw beautiful voice & the rest follows…
    I got addicted to nafils dhikr & quran when all the phone calls on cell or intercom or landline were nothing more than to dig ur lives..to pinchfully prick you..marriage gatherings about gossip & “who’s more wealthy”?</…
    So am high on quran salaah dhikr dosage 365 days…
    Be it my food habbits or any other routine it’s punctual strict & desciplined. Ramdaan is no exceptional for me. I feast with yogurt bananas red rice rotis dal & loads of fruits water & health drinks like ragi…
    So my ramdaan routine is just the same
    Hope nothing sounds boastful..
    Ramdaan Mubarak ( it’s sunnah to say it this way)

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  17. Farheen Assadi

    My goals till i breathe my last are same. I wana be close to quran salah n this deen…be it be ramdaan or not. Else survival is harder.. Having said this i must admit Islam is not easy .. Its not…but there’s no other way..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Anwar khan

    Mashallah once again à fine topic you have chosen . No doubt all the months are good but the month of Ramdam has à very significant aspect. No doubt wé all should lead our lives as per the Quran and Sunnah but in the month of Ramadan Allah has kept special bounties for all of us in the forms of fasting, tarawees, zakhat and many more. May Allah enable all of us to grab maximum bounties of this holy month and all our prayers are accepted by Allah Subhanatalah ameen..Remember me and all momeens in your prayers and. keep writing ……..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Megan

    It is always interesting to hear how people celebrate their religion. It gives us a deeper understanding of each other and I often feel that it helps us to see our similarities rather than our differences!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mahevash

    Beautiful and pure Ramadan. How well you have described the essence of this month in your eloquent words ma sha Allah.
    The month when Quran was revealed on our beloved prophet pbuh and Allah swt ‘s first words ‘read’ were revealed to encourage all human kind to increase their knowledge in religious as well as worldly matters and ma sha Allah you have the gift to write which has helped some of our our non- muslim brethren to gain so much of insight into Ramadan.
    In sha Allah every Ramadan I strive to get closer to the Quran and this illuminates me and brings inner peace . But of course I am far from perfect and try to overcome my weaknesses especially during this holy month.
    Sadly you are right about the over indulgence of food during iftar but there are generous people who step up and make it their mission to donate and spread harmony amongst the needy.
    May Allah swt give us the wisdom and foresight to optimize the attributes of this month and grant us the ability to do as much ibaadah as possible .
    Ameen
    Ramadan Kareem

    Liked by 1 person

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