Ramadan Series-Day 17

I used to roll my eyes upon hearing my friends telling stories of Ramadan in their home countries. Part of my attitude was due to ignorance, not knowing what Ramadan was like in a Muslim country. The other was triggered by jealously upon hearing stories about family gatherings and traditions that I was not able to create with my non Muslim family.

This is my second Ramadan in Egypt and I must say that my friends were right, celebrating this month in a Muslim country is very different than in the United States. However, there are both cons and pros being in these two countries during the holy month.

Pros of Ramadan in Egypt;

  • The whole country evolves around this month. People are able to go to work a little later and/or come home early to break their fast. Image result for ramadan in egypt
  • The streets are lighten with Ramadan decorations.
  • After breaking the fast, the streets are filled with excitement and movement.
  • Eating many traditional foods and sweets
  • People are more prosperous towards each other. This month is also a great month for giving charity. Therefore, people make a great effort to feeding the poor, giving money to beggars and donate unwanted stuff.
  • There is less chaos during the hours of fasting.
  • Family/friends visiting each other to break the fast together.
  • Three days off to celebrate the end of Ramadan

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Cons of Ramadan in Egypt:

  • The daily routines get thrown out of the window. People stay up in the late hours at night and wake up super late.
  • The heat is beyond unbearable.
  • People tend to eat a lot and unhealthy during this month defeating the purpose of eliminating excess consumption and building empathy for those who do not have food to eat on a daily basis.
  • There is a stigma for eating in public for the people that exempt from fasting, for example, if you are a pregnant woman, breastfeeding mother, sick, on the menstruation cycle or even a Christian it is very hard to eat in public without judgment.
  • As a woman, you are not able to assist the Friday prayer and the extra prayer at the mosque

Pros of Ramadan in United States:

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  • Routine, the fact that it is Ramadan does not change the daily duties and responsibilities that need to be preformed. Although, the country does not change to support the Muslims during this month, actually can have great benefits, such as being organized on what you need to do towards your Islamic practices throughout the day and how one is going to accomplish the goals one sets for himself during this month.
  • Getting invited to friend’s house and enjoying a different culture and traditions while breaking the fast.
  • Going to the mosque and praying the extra prayer as a woman.
  • More changes to demonstrate Islam in a positive away and break the misconceptions seen in the media. Image result for ramadan in united states
  • No judgment if a Muslim is walking down the street holding a cup of coffee.

Cons of Ramadan in the United States:

  • No understanding from your job if you all the sudden are less productive and tired at work.
  • Breaking the fast during break time which sometimes consist of a 30 minute break, where we have to eat, drink and pray.
  • Life doesn’t stop in this month so if one is not organized, one can loose many opportunities for extra good deeds, charity and prayers.
  • No payed holiday for celebrating the end of Ramadan unless one uses his own vacation or personal time.
  • Not hearing the call for prayer and enjoying the Quran being recited in the streets.
Disclaimer:These are my personal experiences in both of the countries during Ramadan. It isn’t by any means a whole representation each of these countries.

P.S: I would love to hear what Ramadan is like where you live. Comment down bellow, where you are currently living and what are your Ramadan traditions.

 

 

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Ramadan 2017-Day 7

Happy one week of Ramadan,

I was on a row there with my daily posts until my internet stopped working and ruined everything.

This post will just be a quick update on my pregnancy during fasting. Surprisingly, fasting has helped me maintain a healthy diet, where I am constantly aware of what I am eating and if I am consuming enough nutrients and drinking enough liquids throughout the day. Where as before, I was not conscious of my nutrients intake nor was I drinking enough water through the day.

Since, I’ve been extremely aware of my nutrients, liquids and taking my vitamins daily, I’ve noticed that my legs don’t feel as heavy. I am not wobbling due to discomfort anymore. The only complain that I would have is the lack of sleep. It’s partially my fault because I am putting my kids down to sleep early and I like to enjoy a little bit of quiet time to browse the net and eat some snacks in peace.

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Ramadan 2017 Series-Day 3

Before every Ramadan I get nervous thinking about fasting. For some reason, I always feel like I will not be able to fast and that I will give into temptation. My first Ramadan after converting to Islam was the worst. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I converted very quickly upon researching about Islam but I knew this was the path I was suppose to follow. At the time of my conversion I just had moved away from home and transferred to a knew school. I didn’t have much of guidance during my conversion and I was still very shy and insecure letting people know I was a Muslim.

Ramadan was very knew to me and at times brought feelings of sadness and loneliness. My family was very aggressive towards their feelings of my conversion which lead to distancing and isolating even more from my family and friends.

Every Ramadan after that, has been better and better and I have been blessed every time. For this reason I resorted to fast this Ramadan because I know that the sacrifice of fasting does not attain to the amount of blessings. Therefore, I never saw Ramadan as a sacrifice. I see it instead as a blessing, it’s a month dedicated to getting closer to our Creator. A month where we not only clean our bodies but clean our souls and prioritize our mind to what’s really important in this life.

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BACK TO MY PREGNANCY UPDATE DURING RAMADAN;

I finally went out of the house and I must say it was refreshing. I thought I would get tired but it gave me energy instead. I tried to be out of the sun while out and did not stay outside for more than 2 hours. I have to take baby steps. I know it sounds silly that I would take so much precaution but Egypt right now is super hot and sunny and any healthy person despite being pregnant or not would get exhausted by walking outside for too long.