My Ramadan Diaries 2017…

Ramadan Diaries: 2017 Edition 

Ramadan Eve (Chand Raat): Ramadan Mubarak! And so the blessed month begins, and already I can feel the sense of peace and positive vibes in the air around me. Doesn’t everything look more beautiful? More pure?

Day 1: Making the same mistake of preparing far too much food for Iftar every year, and yet never learning from it! Blame the hunger pangs!

Day 2: Praying beside a toddler – One minute they are standing right next to you, imitating you as you mutter the Arabic verses under your breath…next minute they’ve climbed on top of you as soon as you bent over to prostrate on the ground. The struggle is real.

Day 3:It’s been nice to slow down the pace of life and reflect. We all sure need it from time to time.

Day 4: We are just about getting used to the new bed time routine. Last year, I would put Master Z down for bed and then pray Isha and Taraweeh prayers. This time, however, he keeps himself busy with reading books or colouring in whilst I pray. It’s nice to see him being independent enough to do his own thing, even if it lasts only a short time.

Day 5: As a family, we are trying to prepare healthier dishes and ditch the excess oil this time around. I can already see a huge difference to being able to pray much easier without that bloated feeling straight after Iftar. Why didn’t we do this sooner?

Day 6: Planning the weekly grocery shop AFTER Iftar, because it’s the smart choice.

Day 7: The first Friday of Ramadan! Alhumdulillah!

Day 8: The terror attacks in London have me heart broken. No words can express the shock of this situation, especially feeling so helpless being an expat so far away from family and friends.

Day 9: Airport trips are the best. I love people-watching at airports, seeing families reunite, hug, giggle and kiss upon arrival. Also, I am always trying to guess the incredible stories behind those expressions.

Day 10:  I wouldn’t say I rush my prayers, but I do opt for the shorter verses compared to the longer ones during Taraweeh prayers, because Master Z can only entertain himself for so long. However as soon as the guilt for not giving more of myself to my religion creeps in, I remember something. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would shorten his prayers if he heard a baby crying during a congregation, just so that the mother of the baby could tend to the child’s needs sooner. I let that sink in, and breathe a little more confidently of my role as a mother and it’s significance.

Day 11: It’s my sister’s birthday today, so we decided to have a lovely Iftar at Galito’s, at the DFC branch. Their hummus and sweet potato fries are to die for!

Day 12: Tired. Just so tired…

Day 13: Called my baby brother, Mr A, to wish him the best of luck for his A Level exam tomorrow, and of course we ended up chatting away for half an hour about everything else too! Ha! Miss that dude, even though we used to fight like cats and dogs when we lived together. So excited for him to spend summer with us next month!

Day 14: The UK Election results are in. It’s a Hung Parliament. *Face Palm*

Day 15: Today, we celebrated my friend Nilufar’s son’s birthday at Level Kids in City Walk. It was a lovely set up, and Master Z had such a great time doing crafts, dancing and eventually warming up to the Magic Show that had him petrified at first.

Day 16: We are hosting our annual Iftar for family and friends, this time around at Russo’s Pizza, not at our home. I am excited to meet everyone and enjoy a hearty meal together. And to the Pizza of course!

Day 17: How are we already in the second half of Ramadan? It is coming to an end far too quickly.

Day 18: I feel awfully guilty for not having the energy to do so many activities with my son, and more often than not I begin loosing my patience with him as he begins to trash the house, even though I know it’s because he is not being challenged. I can just about do some kind of painting with him, and I try to make it a little different each time at least. Help!

Day 19: Ramadan is a great excuse to reconnect with friends over Iftar. There are people we only see on a yearly basis at Iftar gatherings, but it’s better than nothing? Today we connected with new friends, and I feel very grateful for that. Master Z also had a great time himself, which is a relief after how I felt yesterday.

Day 20: It’s Thursday, start of the weekend here in UAE, and we at home thanks to my husband being a patriotic Indian cricket fan. So anyway, India won the semi final, which means we will be house bound for the Final on Sunday too. It’s IND vs PAK, so you just know it’s going to be savage! In other news, the sky was a stunning pinky-purple colour today at Iftar time. SubhanAllah.

Day 21: Does anyone else forget which Rakat they are on whilst praying midway? It’s SO frustrating when it does happen, especially at Taraweeh! I need to keep a tally chart whilst praying I think.

Day 22: Get in my tummy, Puff Pastries!!! Had a lovely Iftar dawat a friend’s, one of those where you eat, chill and chat away even though you saw each other last Ramadan. Also, isn’t Urdu the most romantic language on Earth?

Day 23: It’s the UK Father’s Day today! We sent a little card over to my Dad in the UK, and I helped Master Z make a hand made card for his own daddy. Both dads were pretty chuffed! Alhumdulillah for the 2 superheroes in my life!

Day 24: The last of Iftar dawats for this month, another lovely one, and it’s been nice wearing my fancy desi shalwaar kameez for them. Also, who else gives mean looks during Suhoor when someone else speaks to you? Just me?

Day 25: We paid a visit to the graveyard where my father-in-law is buried, as today marks the 10th anniversary of his passing away, as well as that of my Grandmother who is buried in India. I am so glad to have memories with both of them, but sad that our son will not. Visiting the graveyard is also always such a humbling experience, as it really puts life into perspective.

Day 26: Praying Taraweeh prayers at our local mosque today, as we did last year. The blessed night of Laylatul Qadr is worth worshiping for a 1000 nights. Though Laylatul Qadr resides in one of the odd nights of the last 10 days, it is speculated to most likely fall on the 27th day of Ramadan, which begins after Maghrib prayers (sunset) tonight. This is how it went…

Day 27: It is awfully troubling to see Labourers outside during mid-day and I pray their efforts are highly rewarded both in this life and in the hereafter. I am so glad that UAE bans any labour work to be done during peak hours in the day.  It is also great to see all the different initiatives of charity in the UAE such as Ramadan Fridges etc going on during this month to make sure the workers are well fed and hydrated. May God give us all strength to face our unique challenges.

Day 28: I have been really enjoying using the De Longhi Multrifryer for quick and easy Iftar recipes, that are healthy at the same time too. I think we did a pretty good job of reducing our oily meals this Ramadan, and being more mindful about what we put into our bodies. Well, apart from that rich chocolate cupcake I just had for dessert. Oops.

Day 29: It’s that time of the month again when Mhendi/Henna needs to be applied. I absolutely love the smell of Henna, and it seems that Master Z loves Henna too. He demanded I draw a Dump Truck on the back of his hand, and I obliged. A Dump Truck, of all things?! I am also really excited to get the Eid Mubarak bunting up as soon as news of Eid is confirmed!

Day 30: Eid Mubarak! Once again, we bid farewell to another Ramadan in sadness to see it go, but excited to celebrate Eid. I pray we all live to experience another blessed Ramadan. I hope you and your families have a lovely Eid celebration, filled with happiness, love and laughter!

How was your Ramadan? I would love to know, so feel free to drop a line in the comment’s section below. Also, if you missed it, read last year’s Ramadan Diaries here, and the one from 2015 here.

4 Comments

  • diorellajoy June 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing your personal insights on what the Holy Ramadan is about. Eid Mubarak to your family <3

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. June 27, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! I hope you had a lovely long weekend with your family too!

      Reply
  • Tarana Khan (@sandinmytoesTK) June 30, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    This made for wonderful reading! I’ll try and do this next year. It’s such a nice way to look back upon this special month.

    Reply
  • Lovelifelittle1 (@lovelifelittle1) July 9, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Loved the way you journaled the entire experience. Well done.

    Reply

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