It has begun… or will begin very soon! i.e. some pre-Ramadan thoughts.

Ramadan Moobarak small
Ramadan Moo-barak from me, Mr. Rafia and our little baby, Mufia! :)

Ramadan will begin this evening and thus, tomorrow will be the first fast of this lunar year for many Muslims living in North America. I now live in the land of calculations (i.e. ISNA), so I know for a fact my first fast will be tomorrow. But whether one follows the moon- sighting or not, Ramadan begins this weekend for Muslims all over the world.

For the past couple of days, a lot of what I’ve been seeing in my inbox and Facebook feed are “How to prepare for Ramadan” articles. I’ve seen a few on how people who are fasting 17-hour days can still manage to fit in exercise. Normally I’d be like, “You people just need to SHUT.” But I kinda want to continue my yoga routine. I don’t want to lose all the momentum I’ve gained in the past month or so since I started doing yoga. But who knows?

(Yes, I started doing yoga, albeit at home in a relatively judgement-free zone… although sometimes Mr. Rafia will come home earlier than usual and I’ll have to hear him fake-mock me. No, I have not seen the benefits either in flexibility, balance, strength, mental stillness, not to mention my perennial goal of losing those “stubborn few pounds,” but I know I must continue to plow on).

Am I physically and mentally prepared for Ramadan? I guess – it’s inevitable.

Did I prepare? Do I ever?

I know it’s not the “right” thing to say, but I ain’t gonna lie. I had a conversation with a friend recently about our approach to food and as I was reminded again, my entire day is structured around meal time. Up until not too long ago – and I am not exaggerating – I used to go to bed with the thought of breakfast the next day… thus explaining why I was 100+ pounds overweight as a teenager.

Though I am no longer technically even overweight, food still dominates my life and so fasting is difficult for me. I think it’s safe to say that it is difficult for most people. But in addition to the void in rewards I receive in the form of food, Ramadan forces me to change the way I structure my day. And as my life is a testament to, physical changes are much easier to make than mental ones.

Sure, I intend to read more Qur’an, cut down on all forms of entertainment (pictures of cows are not entertainment, BTW, they are like breathing for me), read books that are Islamic in nature… I know there will be an element that is missing this year, like last year. Despite the difficulty in abstaining from food and drink from dawn to sunset, what Muslims look forward to is the communal spirit of this month. I’m going to miss my family even more than I normally do.

No more of trying multiple times to wake up my lion of a father to get him to eat the pre-dawn meal. No more thinking I’ve awaken earlier than others to only find my mother already in the kitchen going on with her day. No more of later reading Qur’an with her until mid-morning. No more of hearing my brother asking “Is it time? Is it time?” right before we break our fast. No more of praying all our salat together as a family. No more of being forced encouraged to attend taraweeh prayers in the mosque with the family.

I mean, I didn’t love it then. But nostalgia, you know?

I am not sure what Ramadan will look like this year for me or for Mr. Rafia. It’s only our second Ramadan together, but I hope it’s one in which our faith in God becomes stronger, that we both worry less (me, especially), and put all our hopes in God alone.

For all of you who are fasting this Ramadan – and even those who aren’t – I pray and hope for the same for you all.

You know what? I think I am ready.

7 thoughts on “It has begun… or will begin very soon! i.e. some pre-Ramadan thoughts.”

  1. Love it, Rafia! Please come to KC so we can practice yoga together!! I love yoga and a good studio will not judge, only take you where you are and accept you. It’s another way to find community, too. I wish you, Mr Rafia 😜 and mufia (!) a Ramadan Kareem and Mubarak!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, that would be awesome. I should also mention that these online tutorials are free. I might consider enrolling in classes at a studio once I begin to progress a bit more. How often do you do? Thank you for the Ramadan wishes ;)

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  2. Ramadan Mubarak baji! I’m going to go get some craft supplies so my room gets a Ramadan vibe to it. AND fit in some work out, *somehow*, post-work-iftar. Someone recommended approaching this month with a plan and setting reasonable goals. It kind of makes you get more in the spirit, I guess? I remember last year when we got an oven, it was the perfect excuse to sit and figure: which dessert will it be today? LOL. And the plan for this year is: where can we cut all the sugar possible?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’m eating so many kajoor, I think I’m getting more than enough sugar ;) I made a little Ramadan Moobarak sign that’s hanging off the kitchen counter. It’s colourful! I just felt like adorning the house in some way at the last minute. Have you been working out? I did a gentle yoga session on the first day??? Lol. Maybe I’ll do it today. I have no energy though.

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