What Ramadan isn't about

Boy eating

Boy eating
Boy eating

Yes, its that time of year again when we taste the wonderful variety of our family's home cooking. Never in such a short space of time do we encounter such scrumptious meals.

Every evening there will be a knock at the door and the aunty (or a liberated uncle) from next door will oblige with a sample of his or her delicacies and vice versa. Yes you've guessed it- its Ramadhan!

There is feverish activity during this month that is truly unsurpassable. Young children will eagerly get up for Sheri (the morning breakfast) bright eyed and excited for they have been allowed to fast. There will be competitions amongst the youngsters as to who can keep the most fasts, as they never seem to tire.

Then there are those like you and me. When our dutiful parents or elder brother and sisters come to awake us we turn over and give a small grunt of 'I'm just coming'. Half an hour later there will be shouts of 'hurry up, you've only got 20 minutes left!'.

We'll then creep down bleary eyed and be cajoled into eating something (yup its greasy parata time). Some of us will crawl back to bed whilst others wait impatiently moaning 'is it time for fajr yet?'

Someone may be reciting the Quran whilst others look and feeling guilty for not doing so, but still read Fajr and run back to the warm and cosy bed.

Then its morning and the frantic questions of 'can I brush my teeth'. 'If I do will it break my fast, but if I don't won't I have bad breath'?. 'No', says mum or dad. 'Yes you can there's a hadith that says.' replies a dutiful member of your family.

Then on to school, college, uni or work and the typical questions of 'you mean you cant eat ANYTHING? Not even drink a glass of water. Isn't that bad for you?'

As the day nears its end frantic preparations will be going on in the kitchen. The youngest brother will be sent to the shops to get the dates, minutes then seconds will be watched ticking away whilst sweet aromas tantalise the mouth.

As those in the dining room shriek to the cooks in the kitchen 'open your fast, its time, open your fast'. Others will be asking impatiently 'what duaa do we read?'. Then relaxation time, the fast is over. Some will be praying Maghrib whilst others will be eating hungrily quenching their appetites.

Then for many it's of to the mosque for Esha and Tarawih prayers some faces are regular whilst for others this is their first yearly trip to the mosque (the other time being Eid!) You may never see these people in a mosque during the year but come Ramadan the hats are donned and jeans/ trousers rolled up.

Does any of the above apply to you or your family?

If it does, is it not time for you to learn the real and purpose of fasting?