We’ve just passed the halfway mark of Ramadhan! If you’ve been fasting, I think you definitely deserve a pat on the back. I know I’m certainly chuffed I’ve managed to make it so far this year without too much whingeing, very unlike me but I am trying my best to keep my cool.
I’ve got a few bits and pieces I’d like to share which may seem a bit random but I’m in an offload kind of mood. Things that I’ve been thinking about, stuff coming up and also just a general update:
First of all…
Still time to enter your #idealiftar for a chance to win a £100 intu Trafford Centre Gift card!
A competition not exclusive to Muslims, I’m simply asking you to share what your #idealiftar (meal) would be. I’ve had loads of great entries on twitter and Instagram already, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites so far:
I’ve been lucky enough to share a number of wonderful iftar meals over the last two weeks, even an extra special one with a non-Muslim friend who decided to give fasting a go that day (she did amazing!).
The competition is running up until the 22nd June so snap those pics and send through your ideas – there’s a hundred pounds at stake here!!!
Earlier this month I wrote a post explaining exactly why we fast and why this month is so important to us. Many people look at Ramadhan like an esteemed passing guest, one that has chosen to enter our homes and we are expected to be on our best behaviour. I also mentioned in my last post that this was the month in which the Quran, our Holy Book, was revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him)
It is believed that this important moment occurred in the last ten days of Ramadhan. The night it happened is called ‘Laylat Ul Qadr’ an Arabic phrase that loosely translates to ‘Night of Power.’
In the Quran, we are told that worship on this night is better than 1,000 nights of worship, the angels descend upon the earth and it is the ultimate time to ask for forgiveness, for mercy and for blessings.
Of course the beauty of this blessed night is that no-one knows exactly when it is! The date itself was never revealed, all we know is that it occurs at some point in the last ten days of the month. Most Muslims believe that there is a high probability that it falls on one of the odd nights, i.e. the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th etc.
It’s a night like no other and is the reason why most people ramp up their prayers and try to dedicate as much time as possible to worship, this can be quite hard as energy levels start to fade as we start nearing the end!
But needs must, it only comes around once a year and with the state of the world these days we have a lot of peace to pray for 😉
What’s coming up?
Well the last half is not just the most precious spiritually, it’s also the most testing. Some people find it flies, others find it drags… it always varies for me. But by this point most food reserves have been burned off and exhaustion can start to set in.
Either way, I’m looking forward to savouring the last moments of this holy month and of course excited to start preparing for Eid too!!
Across America, even here in Manchester, this weekend saw a number of organisations out on the streets protesting – mainly against Muslims. But what these people didn’t expect is that love is always the most triumphant power of all and counter protests were quick to assemble and in most cases completely outnumbered the hate-preachers.
As a Muslim, knowing that there are so many people out there who are willing to stand up for us is comforting. And that goes for companies and governments too. My (very obvious) love for Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters stems for their belief in equality and looking out for everyone, no matter who they are. And when better to show Muslims support than Eid.
London draws on its strength of community and plays host to a fantastic Eid celebration right in the heart of the city. On the 2nd of July Trafalgar Square will host their annual Eid Festival. Theres a main stage, stalls, food carts and much more as everyone is invited to celebrate this special time of year.
Up here in Manchester, our very own intu Trafford Centre has decided to show they are also ready to celebrate, and have organised a celebration of their own. Whether you’re Muslim or not.. get involved! Come and see the shows, the drummers, the Bollywood harpist (!?!) get a henna tattoo… Mo and I will definitely be checking it out so come join us!
I am so excited that people are starting to acknowledge our celebrations, the way they have with others such as Chinese New Year, Diwali and Christmas.
I remember a conversation with the lovely Emaan, marketing and events manager at Scene in Spinningfields, where she was telling me about her upbringing in Trinidad. One thing that always resonated with me was when she said one of her favourite things about growing up there was that everyone in the community made the effort to celebrate each other’s religions, cultures and festivals. Each person proud to show off their heritage and what makes them different.
I love that we can do that here too and I love even more that this time of year I can share mine!
What have you got planned for Eid? Are there any other Eid events you can recommend? Or perhaps you celebrate some other way? I’d love to hear your stories!