Ah, it’s upon us! The night before Ramadan, a month that seems to come around quicker every year but almost always finishes too soon…
I’m in equal parts excited and nervous for the holy month ahead of us, inshallah. Excited, because it’s an opportunity to earn blessings on blessings, a moment for a spiritual detox, a month for family and friends and community unlike any other. It brings Muslims around the world together in shared practice and experience, moments where you share dates with strangers at iftar (the moment of breaking fast), nights spent on rugs picking away at food with your fingers until the morning adhan (call to prayer), evenings swaying during taraweeh as you will yourself to stay focused (you have eaten so much for iftar your eyes simply want to rest, just for a minute…). Ah, Ramadan is the sweetest of months.
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I was nervous. Fasting in London is an 18.5 hour stretch (dawn till dusk during summer is punishing), and it’s no small thing - especially after a lifetime of the easy Australian timezone. 18.5 hours without food or water means you have to make sure you’re eating enough during the night, it means managing energy during the day, and it definitely means no coffee all month. Admittedly, not everybody does the 18.5 hours - some folks follow the Meccan hours which are a manageable 14.5 hours or so. I think I’ll start on 18.5 hours inshallah and see how I go. Inshallah, Rabana gives us all enough strength to help us through.
Spare a thought also for those in Sudan at the moment; not only the ones in the sit-in, continuing to protest, but in the rest of the country where temperatures are on average 45 degrees +, where the electricity cuts out on the regular and the lines for petrol stretch not just around the block, but pretty much around the city. Surely, as they say in Sudan, fasting in the Sahara desert means a VIP entry into heaven…
Ramadan Kareem, all. May Allah bless us all this month, inshallah. May He make it easy for us, may we find it rejuvenating and wholesome, may we be with our friends and family safely inshallah. May we tread softly on this earth, may we tread lightly with those we love, may we find grace in all that we have been blessed with, inshallah. If you’re a non-Muslim - feel free to wish your Muslim colleagues ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ or even a Happy Ramadan!
Just a final sidenote - if your Muslim colleagues and friends aren’t fasting - please don’t question or pry. We are all on our own journey with our own unique circumstances and would all appreciate your discretion. Khair, inshallah.