REFLECTIONS ON RAMADAN 2020
As Ramadan draws to a close, I feel ready to go back to regular sleeping and eating habits. Still, I must admit that I will miss the "No-Diet Rule" I invoke during Ramadan. Mainly, I eat all the carbs and desserts I can stand.
Beyond this bit of decadence, I allow myself, the growth I experience is the real feast. This Ramadan, while unusual, was no different.
A memorable Ramadan
This Ramadan will live forever in mind as "Ramadan in the Time of Corona." The beauty of Ramadan is the coming together of community. As an introvert, I usually stay to myself, but Ramadan is when I come out to spend time with other Muslims.
It is also a time when I cook for friends, and since I have friends of all faiths, I break fast and bread with people who aren't always Muslim. It's a beautiful spread where I do all the cooking. I love bringing people together to share my faith and traditions.
This year was the year of solo Iftars, where I only cooked for myself. Missing the social aspect, I cooked and dropped food off for one of my friends. A far cry from diverse people enjoying each other's company. But, at least, I managed to cook for one person for Iftar.
It's also memorable because a loved one passed away recently. This passing put life into perspective in a new way. I realized that all we have is now. The only thing that matters is how we love and show up for ourselves and, in turn, love and show up for the ones we love. That's it.
The best way to show up for yourself is to be gentle and kind to yourself. Believe and trust yourself. We let too many outside forces and opinions guide our path. Our hearts decide on the course, and the brain makes the rest of it happen. It's that simple, but we still make it so hard.
Showing up for those we love is to show them we love them. Whatever that looks like for you works. It is okay to love someone from a distance. We make that hard, too.
A solo Eid
The end of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr will have to be solo because of circumstances. Mosques are still closed as they should be. I'm not a regular mosque attendee. Too much side-eye and judgment in one space for me. But Eid is one of the few times of the year I step foot in a mosque. I enjoy being in the community of believers. Side-eye gets put on pause, and strangers hug strangers when the prayer is over.
That won't be happening this year. I'll figure out some sort of connection with loved ones either through a Zoom call or phone call.
Finding connections to myself and others during quarantine and in Ramadan is what I've excelled at recently. Maybe I'm not such an introvert after all. That could be my most important lesson of this holy month.
Until next time... look behind and beyond the veil...
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer