Well it’s been a somewhat interesting Ramadan.
Insha’Allah I’ll be sharing a post I wrote for Muslimah Media Watch soon that talks a little about how I’ve been feeling this month, and echoes many of the sentiments I shared with you in my last major post. I had intended to write more about the reasons I converted, but the month literally flew by and here we are with just about a week left.
That doesn’t mean I won’t write about it. I have some serious issues it seems and I want to tackle them the best way I know how. Through over-sharing with all of you!
We spent much of Ramadan just being normal. Which means going about our day without much fuss if we decided to have a random dance party or going to baby birthday parties instead of the mosque.
The Hubby and I signed up for a pre-iftar halaqa through Seeker’s Guidance and live-streamed Sheikh Faraz Rabbani who spoke about how to become closer to God. I’ve known Sheikh Faraz for years. He’s one of the more accessible teachers of sacred knowledge, and has owned up to some issues that I’ve called him out on in the past. Plus singing and dhikr! What’s not to love?
Some of his more memorable thoughts included not showing up to a religious lesson “just because” — make sure you have focus, and that the subject or action speaks to your heart. Or when there is a difference of opinion, don’t argue over the differences — but be considerate. There is special dispensation when there is a difference of opinion. So if you believe that eating shellfish is haraam, and you’re with someone who serves it to you with good intentions, you’re permitted to eat the fried calamari — so pass the lemon sauce instead of refusing to eat and turning into a monster mullah (my words, not his).
I know the girls had a good time this Ramadan. They got to stay up past 10pm and have probably overloaded on Peppa Pig cartoons. It was the only way we were able to eat iftar without them bouncing off the walls (though, maybe that was from their calendar candy). Eryn is enjoying passing out the dates at iftar and Ivy has figured out how to do a full-body sujood.
I even got to the mosque. Once.
We found a very cute musallah in our area. It’s not flashy. It’s not presumptuous. It’s not (currently) fundraising to build a larger mosque, to renovate, or add a gym. It’s just a collection of local families who wanted to have a communal place to pray. That’s it. No hangups.
They offer nightly iftars and finish the first eight rakats of taraweeh by 11:30. So, almost manageable with kids.
It smells of cooking and has an obvious barrier and separate entrance for women. But the sisters were lovely and seemed to know each other. And with only two rows of women, it was also super nice to not be squeezed in like sardines.
It felt a lot like praying in Kuwait. Which is nice.
So ‘Eid is almost upon us insha’Allah, and though it’s been a subdued Ramadan for me, I’ll most likely end it the same way I began it — by making it an extra special day for the girls.
Ramadan has been extremely difficult for many throughout the world (making me feel horrible for complaining about my “problems.” And keeps me away from Facebook, unless I want to burst out crying with every horrific image that’s being posted to my timeline) and every night we make dua’a that peace and justice is brought back into the world, and that strength and calmness is given to every person affected with calamity. That goes for you all too. May God strengthen our hearts and accept all of our good deeds from this month and beyond.