One of the amazing parts of Ramadan as a Muslim parent is getting the chance to introduce the magic of it with your children. One of the ways to bring that magic to your child’s life is to welcome Ramadan to your home by decorating it with Ramadan decorations and crafts. Here are some tips to make decorating your home for Ramadan fun, easy and not too messy.
I admit it. I am a Muslim mom who loves shortcuts that look fancy. Who doesn’t? I have a newborn and a toddler, but I still want my home to look cute and ready for Eid and Ramadan. What is the best way to do it? Using printables. With the click of a mouse, you too can make a Ramadan decorated room worthy of Pinterest. Here are my favorite printables:
Since my oldest child is now 4, I decided we could make a banner together so that she could have fun too. However, the perfectionist in me wanted the banner to look cute too. So I did an easy DIY banner with this kit from Target. To make it even easier, I added these stick on letters from Target to spell out “Ramadan Kareem.” She loved it! She got to play with stickers and I got to create a cute Ramadan banner. It was a win for all of us.
We also did crescent moon and star cut outs and doused them with glue and glitter. Let me just add that I now know why adults call glitter evil. It is terribly messy and is hard to get out! However, my daughter loved the activity and if it makes her excited about Ramadan, it is worth the mess and memories.
Oh Christmas, you aren’t the only holiday where people want to put up lights. Long ago, I used to stock up the day after Christmas on lights so that I could string them all over my house when it was time for weddings, Ramadan and Eid. This season, it seems that retailers are catching on about Ramadan and there was an abundance of lights to be purchased in the patio section of my local Target (oh Target, how I love thee). Some Muslim moms even found gold and silver battery operated lights in the Dollar Section of Target! Seriously, how are you not running to Target now?
I was not one of those lucky thrifty moms and I selected a super cute gold themed string of lights by Lilly Pulitzer from Target for Ramadan (I promise, this post was not sponsored by Target, I just happen to shop there a LOT).
How are you welcoming Ramadan this year? Do you have any decorating ideas that you would love to share? Please let us know in the comments below!
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!
Now that Ramadan is coming to a close, I am actually getting a really sad. When else do so many Muslims collectively get together, overlook shortcomings, are generous, and just have a sense of community like we do in Ramadan? This morning at fajr, I actually wept over the fact that there are only a handful of days of this sacred month left. So I did what any girl with a broken heart does….I tried to think of things I won’t miss in Ramadan to fight back the sadness. Here are my top 5 reasons on why I won’t miss Ramadan (at least this is what I tell myself):
Admit it, you avoid talking to your work colleagues at all costs when you are fasting. You talk to your toddler only to have your toddler scrunch up her face and say “ewww Mommy!” You pretend to turn your head to peruse magazines when you ask a cashier a question. Yep, you have kung fu fighting Ramadan breath. And while you know that it smells sweeter than musk in theory, you also know that you would prefer not to have to speak with anyone in the practical sense. I will not be missing my Hubs’ Ramadan breath as he asks me when Iftar will be ready! Sorry Hubsy. I still love you, Just at a distance.
Perhaps it is because of my toddler, But I am not a fan of how my toddler insists on staying up with me while I did my tarawih and Quran recitation at night. I am also no spring chicken, so going to bed late only to wake up a few hours later did not give me a “Ramadan glow,” but more like Ramadan bags under my eyes. Trust me, at my age, staying up late definitely is apparent. But was it worth it to get closer to Allah (swt) in my own way? Definitely yes. But for the sake of the kids at my daughter’s preschool, I am glad I won’t be scaring them with my zombie appearance any more.
Okay, so this one is totally my fault. In my parents’ native Bangladesh, we welcome Ramadan with deep fried goodies like beguni (eggplant fritters), samosas, and piyaji (lentil fritters). I could have said no to making these fatty fried items, but it just didn’t feel like Ramadan to me without them. So I am glad to bounce back to my clean eating ways. And I am making a Ramadan Resolution to fight against the urges to serve fatty dishes during Ramadan next year inshallah. Pray for me, since this one will be a toughie!
Lack of Exercise
I am going to be real: it is near impossible to exercise during Ramadan. Yes, I know some of you fitness buffs can do it, but us regular mortals need to find the time between iftar and suhoor (which means sacrificing precious time from tarawih and extra worship such as tahajjud or Quran recitation). Yes, our body is an amanah (trust from God), but will Allah (swt) really ask me about my triceps (no, so I choose the extra worship hands down). That being said, I definitely need to get back to shape after Eid inshallah. No more fried foods!
Fighting Over the Moon Sighting
Okay, this is more about Eid, but I will be happy to see those masjid goers who love to fight at the masjid take a chill pill. This one always gets me because we all know that the real reason we don’t know when Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power) is was because there were Muslims arguing! So why are we not learning that important lesson of NOT fighting?
This list is silly, but really, no matter what I say, I will miss Ramadan. You never know if this will be our last Ramadan, so please make the most of these last days. And make sure to pop a mint after you eat Iftar!
Ramadan is a time where Muslims all over the world refrain from food, drink, and physical relations during daylight hours. While most people tend to focus on the food aspect of Ramadan, this holy month is a great opportunity for Muslims to transcend animalistic needs and instincts and focus on spiritual growth.
I know I tend to gain weight in general (even during Ramadan), so I will make sure this year to keep my body healthy so that I can focus on my worship versus slaving away in the kitchen. We all know that Ramadan is not easy, but here are some of my own tried and true tips to ensure you have a productive Ramadan this year too!
Avoid Negative People
We all have toxic people in our lives. They are the people who are naysayers, make fun of your goals, or just plain don’t like you. Well, try to avoid those types of people this Ramadan. Not only will it make you happier, there is an added bonus of avoiding the huge sin of backbiting. It will also help you hunker down and focus on achieving your goals for Ramadan too.
Eat Suhoor (pre fasting meal before dawn)
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Researchers have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. Can you imagine the benefits of eating a nice balanced suhoor before you embark on your fast? I plan to alternate between oatmeal plus fruit with egg whites and veggies. Eating suhoor ensures you will have the energy to the face the day of fasting and free your mind to reflect on deeper thoughts.
Have a Plan
While these tips are generally helpful, we should all have specific goals in mind for Ramadan. Is it to complete the Quran? Pray every night of tarawih at the masjid? Whatever your goal may be, make sure to map out a plan of success. For example, if you want to complete the Quran, break up the Quran in blocks each day to read. If you want to be at the masjid every night, make sure you plan out your meals and arrange for things in your home to be taken care of. Whatever your plan is, ask for help so that you can reach your Ramadan goals inshallah.
Avoid Idle Talk and Engage in Dhikr
When I am fasting, I find it easier to avoid the typical chit chat. I am still friendly, but avoiding unnecessary conversations has kept me from being distracted from what I really wanted to accomplish during Ramadan. Another bonus is that I have found that I am super focused on my work at the office and that leads to efficiency which is a win win. Doing dhikr also keeps remembrance of Allah close at hand too.
Go Easy on Iftar (post fast meal)
While its normal to want to binge eat after you break your fast, try to avoid over indulging. While traditional foods for breaking fast are deep fried, just eat a few dates and drink some milk. This way you can pray without having a bloated belly! After that, you can try some light protein with a few veggies. That way, you get healthy nutrients and you can avoid losing lean muscle mass.
I hope these tips help you have a productive Ramadan inshallah. From my family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Ramadan!