Ramadan taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic might be challenging for some, but surprisingly, it hasn’t been for me. For the first time ever, Ramadan is peaceful, quiet, and without stress. The hectic food prep, influx of guests, and food orders is nowhere to be found, replaced instead by quiet, peacefulness, serenity, and self-care time. Being forced to be solo during Ramadan has proven to be the most peaceful I’ve ever experienced.
In previous years, Ramadan meant countless hours in the kitchen daily until my feet ached, prepping food for the community — all while being pregnant or postpartum — for me, Ramadan was nonstop work. Don’t judge me unless you’ve walked in my shoes…or stood on your feet literally all day cooking for countless people. Yes, COVID-19 is terrible and tragic, but it’s also caused a lot of self-reflection about who we are as a society, and a chance for people to slow down and think about their lives. I love Ramadan, and this is the first time I get to enjoy it solo and stress free. For those in relationships, I’m happy for you if your happy! Enjoy the time together with your loved ones. For some of us who may have previously experienced hardships in familial or spousal relationships due to incompatible personalities and beliefs, Ramadan can be — and was — extremely challenging.
For the first time ever, Ramadan is peaceful, quiet, and without stress. The hectic food prep, influx of guests, and food orders is nowhere to be found, replaced instead by quiet, peacefulness, serenity, and self-care time.
Ramadan is supposed to be a time of forgiveness, reflection, repentance, and kindness. It’s not about food, shopping for clothing, or parties. It’s supposed to be about worship and getting closer to God. Sure we can enjoy treats, but lavishness is not what Ramadan is about either. Why do we go into overhaul during this time? Why can’t it be embraced in a way where every month can be like Ramadan; in a way that’s sustainable? We can continue the self-reflection, getting closer to our Creator, enjoying family time, contributing to charity, and other good deeds throughout the year, and as we’ve seen with 2020’s socially distant Ramadan, we don’t need fancy and elaborate iftars to have the spirit of Ramadan in our hearts.
We need to make Ramadan last longer. Practicing our best etiquette or preparing the best dishes during Ramadan should be done all the time. Yes, Ramadan is special, but so is every single day that God has given us the opportunity to live. There’s nothing like a ruthless global pandemic to remind us of that. Remember, waiting until Ramadan rolls around for you to do your best may not come; many of our brothers and sisters didn’t make it to Ramadan this year, may Allah grant them mercy. As Muslims, we need to remember our lives are never certain, and we should be practicing to be our best on a daily basis. COVID-19 has been a reminder that the work can change in an instant. So, for me, this Ramadan has given me the opportunity for self-reflection like never before. I can’t wait to continue this habit of deep self-reflection throughout the year.
Ramadan Mubarak to everyone participating!