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Ramadan…Mubarak?

August 12, 2010

So today was officially the first day of Ramadan.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ramadan allow me to give you a quick preview: for 30 days I am not supposed to eat, drink, swear, lie, or fight from approximately 4:40 am – 7:45 pm.  

In other words, I cannot do much of anything I normally do on a daily basis.  This is supposed to help me “reset” my priorities and realize what I should focus on for the next 11 months of the year.  

This year I’ve promised myself that I am going to try to get something more out of Ramadan than just hunger.  This must seem like a very obvious goal but honestly, it isn’t easy to execute.   

While I struggle with my goal, allow me to share what I know will really happen in the next 30 days: 

  1. I will wait until after sunset to swear, lie, or fight.  It just can’t be helped.
  2. I will be in the worst mood.
  3. I will take it out on others (read: Maya).
  4. I will have a permanent headache.
  5. I will be even more impatient than usual and my mantra will be “I’m fasting for crying out loud, can’t you cut me some slack?”
  6. I will delve deep into the art of organizing in order to make the day go faster – the kitchen cupboards, my closet, and Ali’s desk are my on my to-do list. 
  7. I will falter and swear while cleaning/organizing Ali’s desk because eliminating 11 months of bacteria and dirt will be even more challenging than fasting for 30 days.
  8. I will be freezing cold due to lack of food and my already low blood pressure, regardless of the temperatures outside.  I will wear my grandma-ish cardigan and people will laugh at me.  I will be too cold to care.
  9. I will become obsessed with perusing allrecipes.com.  I will ironically spend most of my day planning what I am going to have for dinner.

Apparently I am not the only one obsessed with allrecipes.com...this year they have an entire "Ramadan" category for people like me.

 

A wise person once said that while time flies by, the 30 days of Ramadan seem like a year.  I believe that my friends and family can attest to that.  And if not, they certainly will by the time they’ve dealt with my bad mood for 30 days straight.  

By the way, Mubarak = congratulations, but I prefer to save my Mubarak for the end of Ramadan.  Call me crazy.

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80 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2010 2:13 am

    ” i cannot do anything i normally do on a regular basis” hahah! good luck 🙂

  2. August 12, 2010 2:34 am

    Yesterday was day one and I told someone at work that they were on my post-Ramadan hate list (because you can’t hate during, Ramadan, of course). And then, I promptly fell asleep at my desk. Promises to be a productive month indeed. Ramadan mubarak’ish, my friend 🙂

  3. August 12, 2010 3:04 am

    Ramadan sounds rough. I eat/fight/drink on a minute-by-minute basis…I don’t think I would fare very well if I was Muslim. Does maya get to eat? Because if so, then the temptation for you must be so rough. Damn small children.

    • August 12, 2010 5:29 am

      Maya definitely eats as she normally does. She is way too young to fast. I wish I could say the same for myself.

  4. August 12, 2010 3:16 am

    I wrote an article about Ramadan yesterday at work and found it all really interesting, since all I knew about it before was the fasting. Are you also waking up really early to eat in the AM? I read an interesting article about how many Muslims actually *gain* weight during Ramadan because they stuff themselves after the sun goes down, which is totally the opposite of what I’d expect.

    But I also got to look at PAGES of delicious Ramadan break-fast food. Yum!

    • August 12, 2010 6:23 pm

      How cool that you did an article on Ramadan! I don’t know too many people who gain weight during the 30 days, I have already lost some! There is only so much I can eat during the allotted hours and I prefer hunger to feeling disgustingly full.

  5. August 12, 2010 3:31 am

    That does sound tough to get through. I’m not sure I could go without eating all day. I guess when there is a bigger reason to it, you find a way. I hope it goes well for you. Maybe the hunger mixed with cleaning fumes will bring some sort of hallucination epiphany? 😉

  6. August 12, 2010 3:48 am

    hahaha i love your list. good luck with the fasting! i’ve done it for ONE day before and thought I might die. I can’t imagine doing 30 days!

    oh, by the way… i read your comment on my last post about how it’s hard to comment on blogger, so I changed to wordpress just for you. Okay, not really just for you, but blogger and I got into an intense fight last night. He got everything but my dignity.

  7. August 12, 2010 3:56 am

    I think I could handle the not eating better than the not drinking. That sounds really rough! If I were you, I’d stay away from recipe and food blogs. My goodness, I eat breakfast and if I read them I’m starving before lunch. Good luck!

  8. August 12, 2010 4:18 am

    I actually had no idea that Ramadan included such an INTENSE fast… I cannot imagine doing it. Seriously. I have a hard time not cheating during Lent. When all I give up is something like soda or chocolate. And I don’t even drink soda that regularly…

    Good luck! And maybe I should wish luck to your entire family? 😉

  9. August 12, 2010 4:41 am

    Wow this is intense!! I would spend all day planning too… During Lent in HS I would wait until midnight on Fridays to eat a hot dog. I know, issues.

  10. August 12, 2010 4:43 am

    I could spend hours looking at allrecipes!

  11. August 12, 2010 4:54 am

    My goodness, that really does sound terrible. Well, that forthcoming bad mood is completely warranted. A whole day of not eating?? I get irritated just when I miss my afternoon snack.

  12. August 12, 2010 5:03 am

    Wow – good luck! Do you wake up early to eat? how does maya fare?!

    • August 12, 2010 6:26 pm

      Maya is way too little to fast! I was about 16 when I started. I do wake up at 4am to try to eat something but it is so hard to eat at that time of the morning!

  13. Jessica permalink
    August 12, 2010 5:27 am

    I think Ramadan is amazing. I wish I could have the will power to fast for thirty days. I just don’t think I could do it. I love food and water way too much. I tend to find myself eating every few hours.

  14. August 12, 2010 5:40 am

    Ramadan is much stricter than Lent. At least Sundays are a “free day” for us and we pretty much choose how we want to sacrifice.
    Fasting from sunrise to sunset should be really tough especially since the days are still quite long.

  15. August 12, 2010 6:08 am

    Oh my Ameena…I couldn’t last 2 hours without food…I can’t even imagine.

    And I’d probably eat a Horse with ketchup on top for dinner after all that…

    I once worked with a co-worker who did this…he said it wasn’t really that big of a deal to him – HE – PSHISH – MEN OF COURSE – anyways, because he focused on prayer and ate big meals before sunrise and after sunset…but he said his wife didn’t participate nor his little girl.

    But, on a good note, your take on it is hilarious as usual!!! Although if your life me, it’s hilarious on the “outside” and seething on the inside 🙂 Peace.

  16. whydeprive permalink
    August 12, 2010 6:23 am

    I remember when I was in school a bunch of my friends used to fast for Ramadan. I didn’t know you couldn’t swear or fight either. I would totally keep a list of everything that pissed me off so when it was over I could make sure no one got away with anything. I’m kind of a cow like that though.

  17. August 12, 2010 6:39 am

    so you can eat, but just after 7:45?

    oh my gosh…I love the principles behind it but YIKES.

    it seems like the holiday (for lack of a better word) purposely makes you grumpy, so you realize very clearly we need to “repent” of our evil ways ..hahahaha

    we wouldn’t lie, swear and what not if we were properly fed and had a healthy blood sugar levels.

    good luck. you crack me up…as always.

  18. August 12, 2010 6:49 am

    Fasting is really tough. One good thing though looking at all recipes, hope you will overcome the lows associated with fasting.

  19. August 12, 2010 6:51 am

    Is it too early to say Ramadan Mubarak?? I totally admire everyone who sticks to it!!

  20. August 12, 2010 7:08 am

    I didn’t even realize you were Muslim. Very cool. I am familiar with Ramadan, but I did not realize it started today. I used to work in an Egyptian restaurant, so ramadan was always a crazy time of year. I think every religion has something similar to this, although I know in mine we do not have multiple fasting days in a row. When I worked in the restaurant, everyone would disappear when the sun set so that they could eat and they left me to wait on all the tables and explain why no one could get their food for a few minutes, as they cooks were eating too.

  21. August 12, 2010 7:15 am

    Ameena, I was with a wonderful man for a few years who was a Muslim and he somehow managed to thrive through the fasting month and I was in total awe of him. In Canada (and the Northern US), I think that summer-ish Ramadan is a fair bit tougher since the days are so much longer. In the winter, you just have an 8hr fast versus the summer, when it can last up to 14 hours!
    You can and will persevere! I will continue to believe that, this month, by not posting food photos, I am being a true humanitarian :

  22. August 12, 2010 7:17 am

    wow,that does sound rough! I think I probably would end up stuffing my face after sunset. I am looking forward to some grumpy, cranky blog posts from you!!!

  23. louisianagrown permalink
    August 12, 2010 7:27 am

    You’re not allowed to drink anything during the day? No water? No tea? I would binge like a crazy person the second that sun disappeared. Good luck to you and keep us informed!

  24. August 12, 2010 7:33 am

    So if we have another blogger meet-up this month, we’ll have a midnight feast. Sound good? 🙂

  25. August 12, 2010 7:48 am

    Oh gosh Ameena, kudos to you! I cannot function without food. It must be so hard to watch Maya eat and snack while you can’t have any. Not to mention, you have to make her the food too. I ALWAYS nibble while cooking. Talk about will power – you go girl!

    I remember when I taught adult education, some of my Muslim students would have such a hard time concentrating in class and I don’t blame them. There was a big Muslim population in our school so we would accomodate to their needs the best we could. They would get let out early to go to mosque one Friday of each month (I think it was Friday), there were even times assigned when they were able to be dismissed for half an hour to go pray in a specific room assigned for that too. A lot of teachers and students were not happy with the special treatment, but it never bothered me because it was part of a religion and we need to respect that. As long as they got their homework done and kept up with their grades, I was happy to accomodate. I actually thought they should be commended. So you have all my support girl! Stay strong, and try not to get into any catfights with a certain 5 year old ;-). Speaking of which, one actually did break out in my class believe it or not and the funniest thing was that it was over whose husband was uglier. Good ol’ teaching days.

  26. August 12, 2010 8:11 am

    I never knew the details of what it entailed. How is it even possible to not eat for that long? That is really all I’m concerend about, the food!! That can’t be good for you.

  27. August 12, 2010 8:18 am

    Ahh, best of luck. I know several others that endure Ramadan and I’m so impressed, though I really dislike hanging out with them during this time 😉

  28. August 12, 2010 8:29 am

    That’s so interesting that Allrecipes.com has a Ramadan section 😉 I don’t know if I could fast all day. If you are moody, you have a very valid excuse. That takes a lot of discipline and dedication! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts at the end of the 30 days!

  29. August 12, 2010 8:46 am

    Oh you poor woman. I never knew all that was involved. Of course, we pretty much have the same “drink, swear, lie or fight” rule from from sunrise to sunset too since that’s when our four year-old is awake. 🙂

  30. August 12, 2010 9:59 am

    Wow, what an intense month! Good luck 😀

  31. August 12, 2010 10:25 am

    Ramadan Mubarak! I tried to ask my mom if I could fast for 1/2 a day. It did not go so well…. I am the slave at the house because of my monthly gift. I have never cooked or cleaned so much in my entire life!

  32. August 12, 2010 11:09 am

    You are a trooper! And I know you will be a lot cheerier than you think you will…your a sweetheart! I imagine that you will have some amazing evening meals…do you wake up early to eat before sunrise?

    • August 12, 2010 6:14 pm

      Hi Monet – I do wake up at about 4am to eat “breakfast” and then I don’t go back to sleep. Today I was lucky to fit in an afternoon nap but it isn’t always possible!

  33. August 12, 2010 12:16 pm

    I’m afraid to comment because you might lash out at me due to moodiness! I really hope this goes smoothly, indeed you are a trooper. I’m a jew and never fasted on yom kippur, and thats just ONE day! Well, I your invited for a SUPER big breakfast with me any day at 6:00am or a SUPER big supper after 7:45!

  34. August 12, 2010 12:26 pm

    We have a lot of children at our school who practice Ramadan. One time a mother came in to help out in the class and we were eating homemade applesauce for Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. I kept insisting that she try some out and finally she said she couldn’t because of Ramamdan. I felt bad that I had pushed the applesauce on her, but then quickly packed some up for her to take home for later. I would be a cranky mess if I had to go that many hours without food!! Are there any exceptions for women who are pregnant? Diabetics?

    • August 12, 2010 6:09 pm

      Hi Em – People who are pregnant, sick, or diabetic are exempt from fasting. Kids don’t do it either. I think I was 16 or so before I did my first fast?

  35. August 12, 2010 1:34 pm

    All I can really say is oh. my. gosh. It probably doesn’t mean much, but you have my complete sympathy, Ameena. There have been periods where I’ve had to do short fasts in the past, and it was absolute hell; I couldn’t imagine having to do it for 30 days straight, and I’d definitely be doing pretty much all of the things that you’ll be doing to cope. But you never know, maybe you WILL get something positive out of the whole experience… always have to try and find the bright side in situations like this, right?

  36. August 12, 2010 1:56 pm

    Ramadan Kareem, Ameena! Hubby and I observe Ramadan as well. I actually meant to write a post on it too, but I think I’ll probably get to it this weekend. 🙂

    • August 13, 2010 8:51 am

      Ramadan Kareem to you as well Faith! I had no idea you observe Ramadan. We can commiserate together. 🙂

  37. August 12, 2010 2:04 pm

    Good luck fasting! Is Ali also doing it?
    Think of the money you’ll save on groceries! That’s what I would think about 😉
    My best friend in high school was Muslim and observed Ramadan. The HS cafeteria even had a Ramadan Lounge for Muslims to hang out in during lunch hour!

  38. August 12, 2010 3:07 pm

    Good luck! I’ve got to give it to you, I would have a difficult time doing that–I would be one cranky witch. I love your list–so funny.

  39. August 12, 2010 3:13 pm

    good luck ameena – see you in 30 days!!!

  40. August 12, 2010 5:34 pm

    Dear lord…you are tougher than I.

    • August 12, 2010 6:06 pm

      I think that Ramadan is a type of holiday you take one day at a time. You are a much better woman than I am. Does your little one follow the same guidelines?

      • August 13, 2010 8:58 am

        Maya is way too little to fast…I didn’t start until I was about 16 and I don’t expect that she’ll be doing any fasts before then either!

  41. August 12, 2010 6:01 pm

    good luck with ramadan it sounds pretty bad.

    but at least youll find some good recipes and be organized on a level that my life could never dream of.

  42. August 12, 2010 7:48 pm

    Ramadan mubarak daaaahling.
    Here in england the fasts are even more difficult. They end around 9. Here’s my secret: loads and loads of water in the morning. Try it 😀
    *kisses* HH

  43. August 12, 2010 8:15 pm

    Wow. I had no idea that this is what Ramadan entailed. I’m amazed that you can get through a day like that, you must be superhuman. Personally, I can barely go 5 minutes without swearing. I know this is not very classy, but what can I say? I swear like a sailor… And I eating too much late at night makes me queasy. So Ramadan seems very intimidating to me. I admire you for being able to get through it at all!

  44. Michelle permalink
    August 12, 2010 9:06 pm

    That sounds so tough! A kid in my ninth grade world studies class would fast during Ramadan. It was really cool how he explained the tradition to my non-ethnically diverse (aka all white) class, and the meaning behind it. I just felt awful that he watched us eat and had to wake up super early 😦

  45. August 12, 2010 10:02 pm

    Hi there!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    All the best with Ramadan. Honestly, I don’t know how you guys do it. I really don’t think I could cope. I’m moody if I miss a snack let alone go all day without food!

    xxx

  46. August 13, 2010 2:18 am

    Good luck fasting! I don’t know how you do…no water either…that alone would just kill me.

  47. August 13, 2010 2:19 am

    This fasting thing is pretty hard, I’ve heard…from a lot of down-and-out friends!! And I totally get you on the headache-because of lack of food-thing!!Well, best of luck, then…

    Ramadan Mubarak, Ameena!!

  48. August 13, 2010 4:52 am

    I have a few friends who observe Ramadan and it seems so intense! I’m sure I’d be so grumpy and obsessed with allrecipes.com too. (I already am…haha) Good luck!

  49. August 13, 2010 5:34 am

    Good luck! I don’t like to do anything where I’m not allowed to swear…perhaps that’s why I don’t have children! 🙂

  50. August 13, 2010 5:44 am

    I used to live in singapore, so I’m quite familiar with this religious ceremony…uh, half-starvation. I never got to discuss religion with you, Ameena. Wonder where you stand on that? Are you devout?

    • August 13, 2010 6:06 pm

      Hi Sophia – I am fairly religious…not necessarily devout but I think I strike a good balance without getting too caught up in things. I wouldn’t call it “half-starvation” though. Despite my blase attitude I do understand the true purpose behind Ramadan and deep down I can appreciate it. Most of the time!

  51. August 13, 2010 8:01 am

    I really used to wonder how it is possible to do it. Anyway I liked the way u have written .Good luck!

  52. August 13, 2010 10:22 am

    You can do it, Ameena!! Don’t know if I could survive with not swearing because I can swear like a pirate sometimes. I tried doing that during lent this year. Let’s just say I did have other sacrifices I did pretty well on. hahaha…)

  53. August 13, 2010 10:52 am

    I had a friend that worked with me at Starbucks that fasted for Ramadan. It was usually her job to open and stock the pastry cabinet, too and she was such a trooper. Goodluck! Fasting is no easy feat I really admire it. I really like the concept behind it too I didn’t really know all about it.
    But man, I would be cranky too. You can do it, though, and your family will get through the crankiness haha.

  54. eatmovewrite permalink
    August 13, 2010 2:33 pm

    All I saw was the fasting part. This is infathomable to me. Waiting the half hour after I get my teeth cleaned is as close as I’ve come. I have no concept of fasting. That’s probably because I used to weigh 343 pounds. Even though I’m 200 pounds lighter, I still cannot imagine not eating.

    I can definitely see, though, how it would reset your priorities because it forces you to spend energy on other things. And, it will certainly reset your digestive system, if nothing else.

    Good luck to you my friend!

  55. August 13, 2010 3:25 pm

    This is a very stoic custom to follow. I know you’ll succeed and come out with a clearer vision of life. 🙂

  56. August 13, 2010 3:34 pm

    This sounds so rough–I’d say YOU’RE the adventurous eater (because mine comes out of necessity; yours, your own will to better yourself). I’m sure even if it’s super rough, which I don’t see how it can be, you will always emerge from Ramadan even stronger than you are already!

  57. August 13, 2010 5:34 pm

    oh goodness!!! id be a hot mess! i hope you can keep your blood sugar under control the whole time.. that would make me nervous..
    i dont know tons about the muslim faith, but alot of my fiance’s friends are muslim and they are celebrating this month as well.. and i know this is an enormous undertaking for them!!
    GOOD LUCK!!!
    btw – i dont think you’d want to come shopping in my company.. we got nothing you would want lol

  58. August 13, 2010 9:40 pm

    I never knew what Ramadan entailed. Wow! I can see that that would be extremely challenging. But, no growth ever comes without a challenge. 🙂 Good luck, just keep telling yourself that in the grand scheme of things 30 days is not a long time! At least you can eat dinner, right?

  59. August 13, 2010 11:02 pm

    My ex did a little stint with baha’i. He fasted in March. I remember him struggling with it. He wasn’t much of an eater either. So yeah, it’s tough. Good luck! And good luck to Maya too! 🙂

  60. August 14, 2010 4:27 pm

    I will be thinking of you! Take care.

  61. August 14, 2010 6:53 pm

    I totally respect you for doing Ramadan; I am impressed by all people who are truly dedicated to their faith and/or spirituality and it sounds like you are! Best of luck!

  62. August 16, 2010 7:22 pm

    Wow… that sounds fairly miserable. Kudos to you for going through with that!!!

    Also, I used to be justtheashes.com, and now I have a new blog!

  63. August 17, 2010 8:58 pm

    Ramadan mubarak to you! I found your blog (again) through Azmina.

    My sister and I bi**h to each other all day about fasting and then say, “ok, we won’t fast tomorrow.” When tomorrow comes around we are fasting because we feel guilty. It’s funny because we aren’t super religious.

    I’m here if you ever want to vent, I understand your “pain.” 🙂

  64. July 13, 2012 5:15 am

    No swearing or fighting? I would be totally f**ked. Like I would not be allowed to drive for 30 days. Who would straighten out the mouthy 12 year old if we didn’t argue? I admire you for even attempting this. Loving that allrecipes has a Ramadan category. I’d spend all day planning my meals, too! Oh, wait… I do that anyway.

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