How to be happy (10)

Ramadan and Me: Nafisah Atcha

18th May 2020 by naffy

How to be happy (10) What Ramadan Means To Me

This year Ramadan has been a pretty special and interesting one for me. Not just because of lockdown, which brings along its own new normal for the month. It is also the first time I have spent the month at home with my family in three years. Before that, I had a few years where I couldn’t fast due to health reasons so I started this month with a lot of anxiety about how it would go but I was still looking forward to the month ahead.

My daily routine

How to be happy (11)

So I won’t lie, my daily routine is often not that interesting. During the week, I am working from home which I am thankful for as it makes the day goes faster. My day starts just before the sun rises. (around 2:00am currently.)  This is when my family and I have breakfast or something to eat. We call this time Sehri or Suhoor.  Personally I love Porridge so I have a bowl of porridge with mixed berries with either a slice of toast or some fruit and something to drink (tea or water, sometimes both)

During this time I am usually catching up on articles, I have bookmarked to read or I am reading a book. After I have finished eating it is time to get ready for the morning prayer. This usually just involves me putting the dishes away and washing my body through what we call Wuzu to ensure I am clean enough for prayer. Then its back to bed before the day properly begins.

I usually wake up around 7:30 and take my time to get out of bed. During the month of Ramadan, my sleeping pattern is a bit uneasy but one benefit is being able to stay in bed to the last possible moment as I don’t need to eat breakfast.

Around 8, I am up and at em, ready for work, setting up for the day. I have a desk and work area which I keep for working and feeling productive. Once my computer is up and running, I am pretty much at my desk for the rest of the morning. I check in on my mum etc a couple of times but that is it until around 1:£0 when it is lunchtime.

At the start of the month, I envisaged I would be taking the hour to catch up on sleep but I just cannot nap to save my life. Instead, I make sure my mum is all good, pray my afternoon prayer and before I know it, the hour is up.

The second part of my working day goes incredibly fast. By the time I know it, it is time to log off. It is usually around 6 by the time I am fully in home mode again. I go down chat with my parents for a little bit. I sometimes read my book and then pray my late afternoon prayer. As long as my brain is alert I also pray some Quran.

The rest of the evening depends on what is on the menu. Some evenings we are busy in the kitchen prepping the nights meal, others I can waitin until 8pm before I need to get anything going. The next hour and a bit usually go really fast and before we know it, it is time to break our fast.

All our family gather in the front room, read a quick prayer before breaking our fast with ZamZam water (the name we give to our holy water), and a date. Then it is off to pray our evening prayer before digging into our delicious feast we are thankful for.

The dishes we eat tend to vary. I don’t eat meat so there are a small mix of veg and meat dishes on the table along with a selection of fried goods such as samosas, spring rolls and pakoras.

By the time we finish eating it is already around 10pm so we pack up, clean up the kitchen and sit for about half an hour before praying our evening prayers and calling it a day.

I usually like to grab a cup of tea before bed but as the days get longer I don’t really do this as much as I did at the start of the month. (Girl needs to sleep before the clock strikes midnight)

Bedtime is usually around 11:30 unless it is the weekend. It can be a bit hard to fall asleep after a shot of energy from the food I just ingested (and the snacks afterward) but I set my alarm, read through any messages or scroll through my phone and fall asleep, ready to watch up and do it all over again.

Personally, it takes me a few days to get a routine down. I often get asked how do I do it? and the honest answer is, I just do it. As do Muslims all around the world. We embrace it and tackle the month and everything it brings head-on. It’s something we look forward too. Our faith in God guides us through the month.

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