This year Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, will be a different experience for all of us. We won’t be hosting family and friends over for iftar dinners. We won’t be going to the musjid at night to pray. We won’t have that physical sense of community, a time when we usually strengthen our bonds with family and friends.
Despite these difficult and isolating times, I still wanted this holy month to be meaningful. Once I knew Ramadan would be at home due to COVID, I started to plan a Ramadan spent at home with intention. I chose to focus on what we would need to have a meaningful month and really invest in our home space this year to really follow in the Islamic tradition of ease and simplicity.
One night around the dinner table, I had my kids and husband list their duas, or individual prayers. Together, we then created a family master dua list. This way, all of our duas are connected to God and each other. Some of our duas included prayers for the entire worlds healing of Covid and prayers for ours parents who are in Pakistan.
To make this time together a little more comforting and special, I also got my three children a Ramadan gift. During sehri or the early morning breakfast, they often say they are cold. I got each one of them a comfy sweatshirt–essentially an oversized wearable sherpa blanket. Perfect for a warm and cozy sehri (with an added bonus of less complaining!)
I’ve also started adorning and decorating the home with lemons. It is said that lemons symbolize the human heart, love, and light. The pops of yellow in each room also remind us of sunshine, hope, and happiness. We’ve also added balloons and twinkle lights to make the home extra festive and add cheer.
Last, but certainly not least, I created a prayer nook in our home. I named it a Zikr Khana or the Devotion Room, in hopes of it becoming the designated place to pray. Our prayer rugs are laid down amidst a neutral color palette, bringing us mental clarity and peace. I had my favorite Quranic verses created into wall hangings; one of them says “Seek help through patience and prayer” Quran 2:45. I am hoping this room will serve as a much needed oasis and area to reflect during this month.
While Ramadan this year may not be spent sharing memories and meals with friends and family, it will be spent close to those I love dearly. Home will be our sacred place of prayer and our meals will be an opportunity to practice mindfulness and connection. We may miss our “normal” traditions, but we will make new ones. Together, this Ramadan will help us grow as a family.
Stay healthy and safe. Ramadan
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