Salaams my lovelies! I hope you are all doing well inshallah. It is almost time for my most favorite time of year: Ramadan! For those of my readers who may not know what Ramadan is, it is one of the holy months in the Islamic calendar where Muslims fast from eating food, drinking even water, and sexual relations during daylight hours. Nights are spent in hours of prayer and spiritual contemplation. Muslims believe this is the month that Shaytan (the Devil) and his minions are chained as well. It may seem bizarre to some that a month where worldly pleasures are denied can be my favorite time of year. However, if you ask a lot of Muslims, they will agree. There is a sense of closeness with Allah swt (God) in this month because there is an ongoing dialogue all month be it through fasting, prayer or charity.
Trust me when I say it took a long time to appreciate this month. As a youngster to be told to shut off Buffy the Vampire Slayer to pray was just agony. Now that I have my own little girl, I have been trying to think of ways to welcome this holy month in my own household and let her know how very important this month is to me and to a lot of Muslims.
Make it Special
I think growing up we noticed how other faiths like Christianity and Judaism were able to make their own holidays special. For Ramadan, I think it is important to associate good feelings with your own children. For me, I plan to decorate my home to welcome Ramadan and ask my daughter to help me. I do this for Eid too. On Eid, my toddler woke up to a gorgeously decorated home and was so excited because she knew it was a special day. I already started telling her about how Ramadan is coming and how we will pray to Allah for anything we need (even if it means Hello Kitty stickers). If you don’t want to make your own Ramadan decorations, make sure to check out Modern Eid. They have an amazing selection of Ramadan and Eid decorations that are just the right amount of stylish and are fit for Pinterest. I will be ordering their Ramadan Countdown poster so that Safiya can countdown the days to Eid with good deeds that she can do daily.
Make a Plan
I also plan to map out what I will be cooking (only easy dishes) so that I can make time to pray and read our holy book The Quran. If your child sees you pray, she will start to do it herself. Parents really do lead by example. I also helped my own daughter map out good deeds she can do all month. These good deeds are as simple as helping by picking up toys, giving someone a smile or hug and even donating old toys to a charity.
Involve Other Mommies
Another way to get your kids excited about Ramadan is to get together during Ramadan with other couples and their kids who practice too. If your child sees that other children are fasting and are excited about Ramadan, it becomes contagious. The moms and kids can do something simple, like read a Ramadan story and have iftar or even do a simple dua with the kids. It is also nice since the mommies can get a break from cooking that day too!
Make Some Memories
I am also thinking of ways to make some memories with my little one too. I want her to remember that Ramadan is a special time where we did special things together. One of those ways is to work with her and bake some cookies. When we bake our “Ramadan” cookies, she will remember good times with her mama and also remember a special Ramadan recipe. If you want, I can share my special “Ramadan” cookie recipe with you too!
What are your plans to make Ramadan special for your family? Let me know in the comments below!