I went to my first iftar party of the year! Iftar parties are one of my favorite parts of Ramadan. I know, how completely shallow of me. I’m not saying it’s the most important part of Ramadan, but it’s one of the funnest, and definitely the most delicious part. I’ve always loved iftar parties, although recently I’ve heard a lot of reasons why iftar parties are looked down upon by some people. The host ends up spending all day cooking and cleaning instead of doing ibadah-related things, prayers are delayed due to the socializing, it’s so much easier to gossip when there’s other people around…but there are ways to avoid all three of those things. Make it a potluck (like the party I went to tonight), that way the cooking is shorter and evened out among the different people. When it comes to praying, YOU be the one to gather everyone to pray and the deed is done. As for gossiping, that is a daily struggle that everyone always has to be aware of.
I did actually spend a couple hours cooking today, but I tried to time it so that it wouldn’t get in the way of any of my ibadah activities. I prayed Duhr, read my Qur’an, then cooked for a couple hours and did my English Qur’an reading on the car ride to the party and prayed Asr there. I didn’t get to do my Arabic reading after Asr, but I’ll just read an extra page for the next few prayers to catch up.
Alhamdulillah I haven’t had any trouble with my Qur’an goals so far, but I have to say, I’ve really been struggling with staying away from music, TV, and youtube this week. I’m a big music-listener, and youtube-watcher. For the past 6 years or so I’ve been trying to avoid watching TV during Ramadan just so I don’t waste so much of the day where I could be reading Qur’an or doing other more useful things with my time, but just in the past couple years I’ve moved away from TV and became very attached to online shows and my mp3 player. I do still listen to music when I exercise, but I’m trying to not have it constantly playing in the background of whatever I’m doing during Ramadan. However just as I’ve been craving all sorts of food while I’m fasting, I’ve been craving the sound of my songs. I didn’t realize how dependent I am on music to make me feel good until I started trying to stay away from it while fasting. It’s something I’m working on, but I can’t deny that it’s been a struggle. #MyJihad.
As for youtube, I’m not jumping from video suggestion to video suggestion like I normally do, but I haven’t completely cut myself off from youtube. I’m trying to keep it minimal, but I have to constantly tell myself, “This is the last video. Close the computer and do something else after this.” #MyJihad. InshaAllah it will get easier as Ramadan progresses.
Since the rest of this post is longer than the others, I’ll keep the Qur’an portion short. In Surah Taha (surah 20), it says in ayah 7, “And if you speak out the Word loudly, then verily and surely He (God) knows what is secret and what is still more hidden.” Another translation translated “And if you speak the Word loudly” as “Whatever you may say aloud” and it reminded me that while we may be able to deceive other people and say things that are not true (or keep the more embarrassing part of the truth to ourselves), God will always know what we choose to share and what we choose to keep hidden. Nothing is a secret from God. That goes for the bad that we hide, or the good that we are modest about. Both are acknowledged by God. Thankfully, I find more comfort than fear in that quote.
*IFTAR PICTURE OF THE DAY*
Samosas, Fruit Salad, and Mango all prepared by my aunt. (The picture quality isn’t that great because I had to use a cell phone camera :()
For dinner, White Rice and Chicken Kheema (ground chicken) made by my aunt and chicken chili and salad made by me! Everything today was DELICIOUS, Alhamdulillah. (I don’t know if you noticed by now, but I loooove me some white rice!)