Ramadan Journal 2016: Day 4 - Read
I try to complete at least one reading of the Quran every Ramadan, but in the last few years I have struggled to complete even one full reading. This is something I always feel a little ashamed and disappointed about.
This year I really wanted to read all the way through at least once. I attended a lecture where the speaker gave me some advice that really inspired me. She suggested reading a quarter of a chapter after every salah. This doesn't take long and you read a chapter and a quarter at least each day. I have been reading my quarter after every salah except for maghrib where I have to get tea/coffee and dinner on before hubby heads off to taraweeh. So far I am on target to finish if I read extra on the weekends and when I can to cover any days when I miss fasting.
My goals for this Ramadan included to read one detailed tafaseer (commentary) of the Quran and try to read one seerah (biography) of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). I currently have these two on my bedside table to read a little of at a time. The tafseer is by Ibn Katheer and is in 12 volumes. I really wanted this but couldn't afford it, until one day my husband came home from removal job with the whole set in a big box in perfect condition. Someone was moving house and didn't want them. Probably my favourite thing he has ever given me.
I started reading the Martin Lings biography of our beloved Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) a few years back and loved it, but didn't finish it, so I am starting again insh'Allah.
Ramadan Journal 2016: Day 5 - Inspired By
This Ramadan the person that has inspired me most has been Little Lady. She has kept all of her fasts and has gone about her studies as usual. She has had exams last week and this week and concentrated on her studies. She hasn't complained once about hunger or tiredness and she has shown a strength that I have not this Ramadan and that I didn't know she had mash'Allah.
Ramadan Journal 2016: Day 6 - I wish
I wish I could make the most of the sacred month. I always wish that I could pray more, read more Quran, give more in charity and engage in more dhikr of Allah (SWT). But this time around instead of getting frustrated, I tell myself that all of the things that stop me from doing this are also valuable and also worship: cooking, cleaning, childcare, visiting my parents and attending to guests.
Ramadan Journal 2016: Day 7 - No
In previous years we used to allow the kids to stay downstairs and share iftar with us. This year I had to draw the line. It gets quite late with the fast breaking later than 9pm and my tolerance for squabbling or noise is very low by that point. So after the first few fasts with my spending the last hour before iftar trying to get the kids to sit quietly, not fight, make dua or do some dhikr.
Both the babies manage to drop food or spill water, with the table spread turning into a mess on more than one occasion. So after the first few days, I put my foot down and anyone not fasting eats early and gets sent upstairs with a warning that if they try to come down again, they will be in big trouble.
This means that we get to eat in peace, I can make dua without breaking up a fight in the middle of it and the food doesn't end up all over the place. Today Baby managed to escape her cot and come downstairs to keep me company. First she tried to pour water into a little cup and managed to knock over a whole jug of water. I sent her upstairs with her brother and she came down again to share my fruit chaat (fruit salad) and knocked over my glass of water. That was it. I am reinforcing my ban of non-fasting kids at iftar and I am determined to have a peaceful meal and not feel guilty for banning the kids. Even if they make big eyes at me and say they are still hungry.
Normally I love Baby's mischief, she is quick and cheerful and always making a mess somewhere. But during Ramadan my patience is lower and bedtime is earlier. This pic is where I turned around to find her draining her dad’s teacup before he could grab it.