It seems even in Indy there is no consensus. But regardless, Ramadan begins either today (technically, last night) or this evening.
Mr. Rafia and I both agreed last night that it does not feel like Ramadan.
Honestly, you only really feel it when you feel your mouth parched and can’t reach for the water bottle as you normally would do.
Or when you wake up three times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom because you had to replenish your body with water the evening before.
Or after snoozing your alarm five times, you realize the economy does not stop for you.
This is not what Ramadan is about, not on a grand scale. But it is a part of it. That’s when I know Ramadan has begun for me.
It’s also (and more importantly) a month of extra prayer, reading Qur’an, learning more about Islam in general.
I know tons of people that “prep” for Ramadan. I never know if this is physical prep or spiritual prep. If you ask me, I don’t do the former AT ALL. Spiritual? Like thinking about it and knowing that’s coming? Then, yes.
We’ve heard stories about the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prepare for Ramadan six months in advance. I doubt anyone does that today. Six months ago, I was counting down for cake-day (i.e. my birthday). But what that concept is meant to symbolize is the importance of this month.
Ramadan is one of the four most holy months of the Islamic calendar. It is the month in which the Qur’an was first revealed. It is the month during which many Muslims pay their obligatory zakat (I got it on my calendar! Luckily, most of the stress of calculating the weight of my gold jewellery that my family insisted on giving me despite my protests was done last year).
There are other family traditions. Mr. Rafia and I have none. It’s just the two of us, so there’s no need to buy decorations for the home, although I made some during our first year of marriage because, you know, new brides can be so silly. I ain’t no cook – I honestly HATE cooking, everything about it – so I won’t be making anything special (STOP ASKING ME, FAMILY!). But honestly, that’s good; it will hopefully allow us to focus on what is most important – connecting with God.
Ours will be unique to the way in which we feel the most connected to God. I plan to read more Islamic texts in general. I’ve already deactivated my Facebook account (I guess I have been preparing in advance!). No more music during my commute. Watching Islamic lectures.
Mr. Rafia mockingly asked me last night if I was going to post my annual Ramadan Moo-barak graphic. I said No. I’m not on social media anymore (it feels soooooo good to say that). But also – and I just double-checked – my Moo-barak graphic was for Eid (the one that I have saved in my email anyway), so you can expect that then.
But until then…
P.S. Even though some say (and many quietly think) I’m so predictable, it’s one of the reasons they all love me. They’re just too proud to admit it. They wish they had a love for a non-cat/dog animal like I do; they just ain’t cool enough.