Wow I can not even believe that Ramadan is in 16 days. I am excited but nervous at the same time. Summer Ramadans really take their toll on you and I especially feel for those who do not live in a Muslim country. Here in Saudi most people get off work at dhur and also get a week off for Eid so that really helps a lot. Also if you happen to be out when magrhib is called there are people in the streets giving you packs of dates and bottles of water to break your fast with. MashAllah no place tops Saudi Arabia during Ramadan.
A few years ago a friend over at Cafe Muslimah shared this tip with us about completing the entire Quran during Ramadan and its something that I do every single year now and it really works perfectly so I wanted to share it with each of you. I have found it better to have a plan for everything before hand that way it comes easy.
The Qur’an has 600 pages approximately if you divide it on 30 days, that’s 20 pages a day. You see, that’s difficult to do right? But, if you divide it on the 5 prayers a day, it gets easier.
If you read 4 pages after every salah in Ramadan, then you’ve completed the Qur’an. If you want to complete the Qur’an twice, you read 4 pages before and after every salah.
As women we tend to get caught up with all the food and cooking of Ramadan every year and while there is barakah in cooking and feeding our fasting families it is important to focus on what Ramadan is really about. It seems many of us spend our days planning and preparing food and then cook it so that it is fresh and hot just at magrhib then we spend the evening having to clean up. With all of that when do we have time to focus on Allah?
A lot of us are so hungry or thirsty that we overcook so many things and end up wasting food or having to eat leftovers the rest of the week. Last year I really looked at my past Ramadans and decided that something needed to be done. I started making meal plans so I knew what I want to make and what I need to buy at the store ahead of time. Also I started cutting down what I cook every night. Yes, lots of varieties sound nice when you’re hungry but a fasting stomach can never even hold that amount of food so its better to keep it real. I would rather have fresh hot cooked every night instead of leftovers how about you? So just make the same amount for iftar that you would any other dinner throughout the year.
I like to write out my meal plan for the week and put it on the refrigerator and then I do get asked 1000 times a day what is for iftar (come on ladies you know your husbands do it as well lol). I am already moody from not eating or having caffeine and by the time I start to cook the last thing I want is someone pestering me about what I am cooking. Here in Saudi you can buy an entire plate of fresh samboosas really cheap so instead of spending hours in Ramadan preparing them I can save a lot of time. Samboosas are a must in an Arab house during Ramadan. You can also save time by prepping or freezing things before hand like lasagna or bread.
This year I plan on sharing some of my menus that I will be making with you all. I also found a Ramadan meal planner that you print off for free here. If you have any great tips for meal planning during The Holy Month then please share with us.
I have always felt that decorating for Ramadan and Eid are really important regardless where you live in the world or even in you have kids. I feel that it is especially important for reverts who once lived a life full of holidays. As Muslims we only believe in our own holidays which are the two Eids but Ramadan is also important. Although it is not a holiday it is an important part of our religion and one of the pillars we believe in. I always feel that all the hype other religions brings sometimes makes people want to be part of it and not because they may believe in it but because it is human nature to be drawn to things that bring us together.
If you have children make their holidays just as exciting as other peoples but in a way that they can learn. This is a great time to teach them what Islam and being a Muslim is all about. All of my fond memories with my family includes baking Christmas cookies or hunting Easter eggs but as a revert and the mother of a Muslim child I want to give my son the same fond memories but in the way that we believe. We all want to have traditions that we pass on to our children just like our mothers did with us. We now have 25 days until Ramadan begins so it’s the perfect time to start collecting, buying or making decorations.
The day before Ramadan begins my son always loves to help me get the house ready with whatever decorations that we have. This is a really great bonding time for the entire family. Before I was even married, I also tried to decorate my house a bit because living in a place where I was the only Muslim could really bring me down. If you do not hype your own experiences no one else will.
Here are some ideas that may help you decorate for the Holy month:
Small lanterns can be placed around the table during iftar.
Place green and white candles around the house.
Decorate with balloons, banners, stars and moons.
For a few years now I have had a Ramadan/Eid board on Pinterest so check it out for some great ideas.
With only 27 days left until Ramadan begins all of you coffee drinkers (me included) may want to go ahead and slowly start the process to wean yourself slow and steady before Ramadan actually gets here. Trust me everyone around you will be happy when you do not want to rip their heads off. Also those headaches will not happen (you all know those). So if you’re wondering how you can do this without suffering here is how.
I recommend buying a bag of coffee such as Starbucks Pikes Place decaffeinated. This is the only coffee that actually taste the same. They do not sell Pikes Place in Saudi so I order a bag of whole beans online and then I get it freshly ground here or you can do that yourself at home.
Week One- Every single day this week I want you to add a little less coffee to each cup until by the end of the week you only have a half a cup.
Week Two- Keep making your coffee smaller and smaller until you have just a small amount left and this is when you switch over to the decaf (it still has small amounts of caffeine but not a lot).
Week Three- Start drinking only decaf and start reducing the amount you pour of this into your cup all week as well.
Week Four- Make a switch to a good caffeine free tea like an herbal or try something like sahlab.