Jun 7, 2016

Keep Calm And Prepare For Ramadan


It's time for Ramadan! Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims unite in a holiday of fasting, feasting, prayer, and spiritual reflection. The annual month-long fast is one of the five pillars of Islam and is considered to be the holiest time of year.


Ramadan is the month which the Holy Koran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. The Holy Koran (literally meaning "the recitation") is the central religious text of Islam. Thus Ramadan is believed to be the holiest month of the year. During this holy month Muslims are to refrain from food and liquid from dawn to sunset, and renew their focus on prayers and recitation of the Holy Koran. All Muslims are encouraged to complete the full recitation of the Holy Quran at least once during the month. 

During Ramadan Muslims who are physically able are required to fast every day of the month from sunrise to sunset. Fasting is called sawm which is the Arabic word for "to refrain." Those who are fasting are referred to as being rosa. Not only must Muslims refrain from food and drink (including water) during the fast but also evil thoughts, actions, and speech. 



Before dawn every day during Ramadan there is a pre-fasting meal called suhur or suhoorTaking suhur is considered a blessing. In Islamic communities there is traditionally a man called a meseraharati who roams the dark pre-dawn streets clanging bells, beating drums, and yelling loudly to wake everyone up to partake of suhur

At sunset there is a banquet-like meal called iftar in which the daily fast is broken. Iftar is a religious observance often done as a family or community. Traditionally but not mandatory, three dates are eaten to break the fast as did the Prophet Muhammad. After that all manner of fruits, sweets, and juices are served followed by savory dishes and lots of desserts.


The month of Ramadan culminates with the three-day Eid Al Fitr holiday celebrating the end of the fast. Marked by a special morning prayer, the days are a form of spiritual elevation and a chance to implement the spiritual lessons learnt throughout the month. Muslims dress in their best and go about visiting friends and relatives promoting a sense of community.


Although I won't be preparing lunch, dinner, and tea time snacks during Ramadan I will be preparing all sorts of dishes to send to the iftar observance at our mosque every evening. We will be hosting iftar for our little community in our home a few times also. Hopefully, I'll be doing lots of posts on what I'm cooking and preparing as well as events we attend and host. 

Wishing you a joyous and blessed Ramadan,
Bibi

12 comments:

  1. Eager to see how you go through Ramadan in Nepal... :) Wish you a blessed month...

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rafeeda,
      Ramadan's a lot easier to observe in Kashmir but we'll be here in Nepal this year. Ramadan Mubarak!

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  2. Ramadan Mubarak, Bibi. Thanks for the informative post.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Antonina,
      Thank you! Hope all is well with you & yours!

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  3. Blessings on you and all your loved ones during Ramadan, Bibi. How brave of you to provide dishes for the mosque observances -- my Japanese women friends have told me 'terrifying tales' of their first efforts at hosting Thanksgiving meals for their in-laws! ("Good thing left-over bird goes good with rice!")

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    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      I've been doing this quite a few years now so I know what to expect for the most part. I usually send a dish to the mosque every Fridays with so I know what the Imam's preferences are (He loves anything chocolate & banana pudding with nilla wafers).
      Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair! (May every year find you in good health!)

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  4. Wishing you a good Ramadan.

    Is there anyone that doesn't love banana pudding and vanilla wafers:)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Goody,
      Thank you. A happy Shavuot, Flag Day, and Summer Solstice to your family. And happy Father's Day to Mr ETB too!
      Banana pudding seems to be popular with every nationality I've cooked for, men especially.

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  5. Ramadan Mubarak!
    Any person who loves chocolate rock by the way ;-) the Swiss has spoken

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cyn,
      Thank you! Hoping all is well with you & yours. Keeping all my precious Swiss chocolate hoard in the fridge with this miserable heat. Stay cool!

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  6. Wishing you a happy and fulfilling Ramadan! When we were in Granada, the Moroccan restaurants weren't opening till sunset; my big goddaughter was pretty amazed when I turned round and said, "Doh, it's Ramadan, I forgot", as it's not something she'd ever really thought about.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mim,
      ThanK you!
      Yes, there really isn't a lot of awareness about Islamic holidays in the US. That's why i'm doing these little posts with brief descriptions.
      Glad you're back!

      Delete

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