I can’t stress enough how much I love cooking when I’m fasting. I always love cooking, but cooking while hungry just makes me even more excited for the food. My aunt and I spent a good part of the day buying food for iftar and cooking dinner. It was really fun because we made a dish that neither of us had made before and alhamdulillah it turned out pretty delicious! I love going to my aunt’s house during Ramadan. She has a nice big family, so iftars and dinners over there are always a good time.
It is actually thanks to her and my cousins that I started reading Qur’an every day. Last Ramadan I wasn’t really reading any Qur’an, but partway through the month I learned that my two cousins, who are both younger than me, were having a little competition to see who could read the most Qur’an during the month. After hearing that, I wanted to see how much I could read, so for the last week of Ramadan I read as much Qur’an as I could, and when I wasn’t able to finish the whole thing by the end of the month, I decided to just keep up the habit and read it every night after praying Isha. Now, alhamdulillah, I’ve taken that habit up a notch to reading Qur’an after every prayer (except for Maghrib) during Ramadan. I hope that, like my cousins motivated me, I can motivate someone else by sharing my journey of finishing the Qur’an with all of you.
Every day the surahs get shorter and shorter and I just get more excited as I feel myself getting closer to the end. The first time I finished the Qur’an, it was mostly due to the fact that I had reading assignments in school, but this time I am reading it completely by my own will, so it feels like more of an accomplishment even though I’ve done it before. I reached the 26th juz in the Arabic today and read through surah 59 in the English. My ayahs of the day are from that surah, Surah Al-Hashr. This is another one of those surahs where I found multiple translations for the name. “The Gathering (of Forces)”, “About the Gathering (Banishment)” and “Banishment” are given by my three different Qur’ans. The first and last seem completely different, so if anyone knows an accurate translation of “Hashr”, please leave me a comment. I am quoting ayahs 22-24, which list a bunch of names with which God describes himself in the Qur’an.
“He is God: there is no god other than Him. The All Knowing, of the hidden and the open, He, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. He is God: there is no god other than Him. The Sovereign Ruler, the Holy One, the Source of Perfection (and Peace), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Supreme and Majestic. Glory be to God! (High is He) above the partners they give to Him. He is God, the Creator, the Evolver, the Grantor of Forms. To Him belongs the most beautiful names. Whatever is in the heavens and on earth declares His praises and glory, and He is the Exalted in Might, the All Wise.”
There really isn’t anything I can say about that except SubhanAllah. Glory be to God. I’ve never seen so many names given right after one another in the Qur’an. It’s such a powerful way to end a surah in which so much stress is given on being mindful of God.
*IFTAR PICTURE OF THE DAY*
Potato Pakora, Dragon Fruit, and Turkish Soda
Rotisserie Chicken made by my aunt, Biryani, and Ratatouille made by me and my aunt! It turned out delicious, alhamdulillah (which is surprising considering the main ingredients are eggplant and zucchini, both of which I normally don’t like).
Turkish Soda, Dragon Fruit and Ratatouille…what a day of firsts!