Reflections in the Kitchen

Another Ramadan. It’s hard to believe there’s little over a week left. It’s been yet another blur of a month with 17 hour rozas: sehri, work, nap, make, iftaar, sleep, with prayers and reading Quran interspersed throughout the day. Repeat.It’s been another year of not making it to the evening tarawih prayers and little inspiration at the Jumaah prayers I’ve attended. In my life at this point in time, Ramadan is far more a time for personal reflection and commitment to making my own changes th … [Read more...]

My “Anti-Social” Ramadan

I moved from India to the USA two months back, and my life has completely changed, as expected. Before Ramadan started, because of the very long days and the fact that I was the primary caretaker of my 1 year old (like most mothers are), I worried if I would be able to fast. With God's grace, I have been able to till now. All the Ramadans that I remember from my past are when I had busy schedules outside my home. Working full time for the last 9 years and before that of course bring in college, … [Read more...]

Half a Ramadan is Still a Ramadan

Having spent two Ramadans in the Netherlands now, I still can’t get used to the lonely and isolating experience of fasting without an extended network of family and friends. But I must count my blessings. I have a wonderful husband who doesn’t think twice about helping to cook sahur and iftar, and I have amazing friends sparsely distributed in several towns around my own. When we manage to get together once in a few months for a meal (and one iftar), it means the world to me.I still find … [Read more...]

Faster’s Remorse

This post was written by guest contributor Nicole Hunter Mostafa.My non-Muslim friends and family may have a hard time understanding why, but Ramadan is a wonderful time of year for me. Of course, it’s difficult to fast, especially during the summer months, but regardless of the time of year, it’s always lovely when Ramadan rolls around again, not least of all because it’s a time when I get to eat food that’s reserved for this month.The first time I fasted for Ramadan, I was not yet Musli … [Read more...]

Non-Traditional Foodisms in Ramadan

Every Ramadan, there are delicious food articles and recipe ideas published on various sites and magazines. They are often inspired by peoples’ lived experience with food, memories of traditions and practical ideas for meal preparation in Ramadan.A delicious chutney accompanying a home-cooked samosa, fresh juices, Rooh Azfa cocktails, traditional rice dishes, divinely prepared meats and wonderful smorgasbord of delights at iftaar time. My mother-in-law is a fantastic cook and has spent m … [Read more...]

Solitude and Family: The Best of Both Worlds

As a child, I once visited my aunt in her husband’s house during Ramadan. She had dark circles around her eyes due to lack of sleep, and she was haggard and toiling in the kitchen. She told us that her husband and his brothers all had “varied” food habits when it came to breaking the fast.  And since her mother-in-law was too old to help, she had to do it all herself. This image became nightmarish for me. What about Ramadan’s spiritual benefits? In this case, won’t women dread Ramadan, if it mean … [Read more...]

Ramadan: The Mother and Activist

Ramadan for me personally has always been a month of compassion, congregation and contemplation. However, last year in Ramadan, my entire days and nights revolved around caring for my then-one-month-old twins.Time passed by like a whirlwind; I have vague memories of feeding, burping, changing, and rocking babies to sleep – all the while trying to maintain some semblance of spirituality. Just one Ramadan before that, I had all the time in the world to pray, attend congregational prayers a … [Read more...]