Eid Mubarak my lovelies! I hope the last month of Ramadan has been a blessed and fulfilling one.
Many of you know that I only started fasting a few years ago, so I’ve always struggled with the long hours as Ramadan has fallen within the summer months.
This year fasts lasted an estimated 19 hours. I admit I’m still building up my ability to go that long without food or water, but I’m so proud of myself for doing what I could in terms of keeping fasts.
I love the sentiment behind Ramadan and the celebrations Eid brings. I’ve also loved the interest people have shown over the last month. If I had to condense it all down for you in a few points, I reckon it would be the following…
I’m not starving myself.
A lot of people feel like it’s almost cruel to not eat or drink water even when your stomach is growling for it. But trust me, your body is designed to withstand long periods without food or drinks. Ramadan isn’t about starving yourself. It’s about improving your morality, ridding yourself of worldly desires and building up your self control, spirituality and discipline. Admittedly these are aspects of myself I rarely work on and so I’m glad Ramadan promotes this.
You get out what you put in
This extends to almost all aspects of Ramadan.
One of the crucial formulas you need to have figured out is what you eat for suhoor (the meal before your fast starts). I found that it was essential to cut out tea and coffee as they served no nutritional value. Instead I loaded up on water and ate omelettes packed with spinach and rocket paired with a couple of ryvita. By eating right, energy is released slowly throughout the day and doesn’t cause a sudden slump.
You can also benefit spiritually too. I went for Taraweeh prayers one evening and the atmosphere at my Mosque was just one of pure peace and contentment. It always feels great praying in a congregation but regardless if you pray in a mosque or at home, you emerge feeling that bit better, that bit more grounded and that bit more thankful.
Support is everything
You don’t realise how important it is to have people around you that can take your mind off the hunger and the tiredness. I was so lucky to have girls around me who were also fasting at work. The days seemed to go faster as we would take the odd couple of minutes to regroup and see how we were getting on.
In the end we found ourselves bonding over more than work. We would talk about our plans for Eid, go out for iftar, get to know more about each other’s background and share a few laughs on our way home. We’ve now got a much closer relationship as a result of Ramadan.
Eid is like our Christmas
So we don’t have a tree and Father Christmas, but the little ones do get presents, I may get some cash money and we dress up as though we’re heading out to an Indian wedding. Let’s not forget the food. Oh my God the food. Like Christmas, Eid consists of a huge feast with friends and family. Some families prefer a more quiet affair, which is fine too. The best part for me? Going to the Mosque and seeing everyone there. I love the atmosphere and everyone is just buzzing with excitement to see one another. It’s a real celebratory vibe and once again, that community aspect is there, which I adore.
Muslims tend to go into a deep state of spiritual reflection during Ramadan but the question is, how many of us will continue to show compassion and religious commitment after Ramadan?I think everyone has some aspect of themselves they want to work on – I definitely do – and so Ramadan is a lovely way to reconnect and give us that start we need to improve on ourselves.
For those celebrating, hope you all have a fantastic Eid!