We asked the public to share their most memorable Ramadan stories. Their answers will nourish your water-deprived hearts!
1. The Bee Whisperer
“I enjoyed today. I went to the park with a bestie and we sat and did some dhikr. There were loads of bees collecting nectar nearby so we read Surah Al Nahl. I read the ayat that mentions the bees to the bees (very quietly so I don’t think even my friend noticed; hope bees have good hearing — I must Google that).
Then at home before Iftar time, I opened the door and lay on the floor for a nap, with the scent of my jasmin plant wafting in and the Quran playing. Then I had chicken stew for iftar followed by THE best Turkish Delight. Nothing spectacular, but simple pleasures.” –Wendy Bocth
2. The Secret Iftar
“I remember when the fast would open at 5 P.M., and I was working at a day nursery and my boss wouldn’t let me go to the kitchen and even have a glass of water. She would say it’s not break time and if you leave the room the staff-to-child ratio would mess up.
I used to sneak a date in my pocket and eat that then come home at 6 and eat properly. I can’t believe people were so not aware then and we also never knew or used our rights.” – Omera Khan
“In my head I was about to die so I stood firm and didn’t look. Anyway, at the end of prayer I asked my husband’s cousin what had happened because I was scared. Turns out a rat had strolled in!”
3. Hospitality in the Haram
“Remembering when me, mum and dad went for Umrah a few Ramadan’s ago. It was our second night in the Haram and I’d arranged to meet my parents at a specific entrance to have iftar together. I waited and waited, got moved by security a few times, sat with some random woman for a bit, played with her children and she gave me some dates and water to keep for later.
Waited more and finally gave up and sat down and broke my fast on my own with the dates and water from the woman. However, random families nearby took pity on me being alone and I got given samosas, biscuits, fruit, tea…and well basically ended up with a feast! Turns out my parents had thought that getting to me would be too difficult and so decided to ditch me!” –Nausheen Asma Lal
4. The Human Fountain
So I was in year 6 primary school, fasting those short 4 P.M. fasts. I joined the queue for the water fountain in the playground to accompany some friends. When it was my turn I literally forgot I was fasting, got some water in my mouth, when my non-Muslim friend shouted, ‘Mariam, you’re fasting!!’ I spat the water out immediately and thanked her. Close shave moments, good friends.” –Mariam Abuelzein
“Mine has to be in Algeria praying tareweeh. In the middle of prayer, the rows in front of me started parting and women were screaming. In my head I was about to die so I stood firm and didn’t look. Anyway, at the end of prayer I asked my husband’s cousin what had happened because I was scared. Turns out a rat had strolled in! I needed some very sugary mint tea after that!” –Katie Derradji
6. Alone with Allah
“I was a new Muslim in a new city and had not figured out where a mosque was or if there even was one. I didn’t know any Muslims either, so I would fast all day (often having to take a siesta after Dhur under my desk in my office hehe) and then would come home and make egg white omelette with steamed broccoli religiously for Iftar. I never felt alone SubhanAllah and always felt Allah was with me.
It was just me in my little apartment, my prayer mat and Allah. I never knew if I was even praying taraweeh correctly, but I did my best. I was also teaching myself how to pray and had a trusty printout from the Internet with transliteration and pictures to guide me. I used to beg Allah to keep the rope between Him and me tight — and boy did he ever. It was that time I used to have dreams of our Prophet (PBUH). Humbling to spend the days and nights totally alone.” –Jaclyn Marie
7. Arabic Looks The Same Upside Down Right?
“So I’ve been coming to iftar at the mosque over the past four-ish years now.
The first year I sat with everyone and took everything in, learning as much as I could. The second year, I thought I’ve done this before so when people were reading from the Quran, I decided I’d pick up a book to take part. I picked up my book, opened it and people started reading. I felt like I was doing well, until a friend looked over at me and told me I was holding the book upside down!” – Ceri Burrows
8. Ramadan and Juliet
“I was leading a school trip abroad during Ramadan. There was a non-Muslim boy on the trip who liked one of the girls and would be around her alllll the time. One day he wanted to fast with me. I explained to him that fasting wasn’t just about not eating and drinking but being a better person, being mindful of what you say, resisting temptation, etc. So he took it on board and that whole day didn’t speak to the girl! I told him, ‘You’re allowed to speak to her you know.’ And he said, ‘No, too much temptation!’ The poor girl must have wondered why he’d ditched her!” –Nausheen Asma Lal
9. An Unexpected Feast!
“My most memorable Iftar was when I had something really simple to break my fast as I was alone. I was feeling slightly down thinking I haven’t eaten all day but the kids were little and I hadn’t had time to cook. Knock knock…opened the door, there was my beautiful Somali neighbour with a feast for me, she sat down singing dhikr!
Knock knock…. my Pakistani neighbours had brought a feast for me!
Sat down with a huge grin on my face. Knock knock… My Indian neighbour with a huge pot of rice pudding, needless to say I was overjoyed and so thankful to Allah (SWT).” –Lisa Roberts
10. A British Iftar
“My most memorable of iftars was when my two eldest daughters had taken shahada, both at different times and for our very first iftar as a girly family we all went to the mosque many many years ago together with my two born-Muslim children and ate there together.
When we got there we saw a sea of British reverts…even today we all remain in contact and that was 20 years ago. Still at some point in Ramadan I see the same ladies at iftar, who without being Muslim, we would probably have never crossed paths with.” –Aysha Javaid
11. When Dinner Ladies Got Your Back
“I remember fasting in secondary/high school when we had iftar at 4/5 P.M. (Those were the days!) The dinner ladies always used to save me a slice of chocolate cake from lunchtime to take with me to the mosque. I’d have my meal then tuck into a yummy slice of cake! I still send love to those dinner ladies now when I remember it!” –Hanan Issa
12. Insect Iftar anyone?
“One of my first iftar gatherings at SOAS during my first Ramadan (It’s now my 20th, masha’Allah). We gathered in the tiny prayer room and waited for the adhan. Sisters passed around dates, bottles of water, cups of milk. The adhan went, I read my du’a and popped the date in my mouth, working the seed out as I chewed. Then I noticed the look of concern from the girl next to me. ‘Um, you didn’t check it,’ she said. Suddenly all eyes are on me. ‘Check it?’ I replied, wondering what new faux pas I had committed.
‘Yeah, you know…for…(whispered) *bugs*?'” –Amanda Rebecca Morris
13. United in Prayer
“This Ramadan is becoming a memorable one for me. It’s my first Ramadan away from my home town and with my own family here in London. Our first sehri was at a friend’s house, so that we wouldn’t feel lonely. East London mosque has thousands of people attending praying in union, it’s such a beautiful atmosphere. All our friends get together to help each other with iftaar and sehri, we’re building our community and I feel like I finally belong here.” –Zara Kadir
14. Sibling Rivalry and Fasting Breath
“My fond memory is of when both my brother and I were very young and we really wanted to fast. Our parents told us that, if we breathed into a glass then covered it, we could eat something and take the breath back in and our fast will remain unbroken. We actually believed it! But my brother would try to uncover my glass and I would try to uncover his… so many fights and arguments over this!” –Bablin Molik
15. Miss Trunchbull is Real
“During Ramadan, my Chemistry teacher used to tell me and my sister that she was going to go and enjoy her chocolate cake in the staff room at break!” –Isra Ashi
16. That Ramadan Feelin’
“When I was 19, I lived in Senegal for a year and more than 90% of the population are Muslim, so i decided to try fasting for the first few days of Ramadan. I remember one evening sitting in front of the TV with my host family and seeing the news with people fasting all over the world and feeling part of something really big and really special, where you’re connected to so many other people.” –Ciara Cohen-Ennis
We hope you are having a truly blessed Ramadan!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length/ clarity purposes.