A few favorites from this Ramadan

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Sitting here typing this out after the last sehri of this Ramadan – feeling a little overwhelmed thinking there’s probably so much more I could have, should have done but also feeling grateful for this past month; how it always makes room for inner reflection, connecting to Allah mian and so much more.

Even though I’m ready to not be fasting anymore (missed my chai so much) , the end of this month still makes me feel a little nostalgic and maybe a little sad even. So for today just sharing a few favorites from this year’s Ramadan :):)

1.Night before Ramadan we went for our own little ‘moon-sighting’ after dinner. Despite it being a weeknight, even let Anya get a treat from a drive-thru because I don’t know my excitement for random little traditions that hopefully our kids can remember one day trumps everything else hehe. Didn’t see the moon but loved sitting by the lake, watching the sunset :):)

2.This year’s Anya’s excitement felt even more than previous Ramadans. From wanting to try out a fast, asking to stay up for ‘iftar’ with us, making fruit skewers for one iftar at our place, & reminding me constantly about coming in to her class for the Ramadan story time I’ve done ever year. She was so excited about telling her classmates about fasting so we ordered a few goodies and she helped make treat bags with a little note about Ramadan & Eid. I love that there’s no trace of any embarrassment despite being the only Muslim in her class (probably her school as well) mashAllah. When her librarian made a display of Ramadan books, she couldn’t contain her shock & excitement and told me how she went up to her and asked her how she knew about it :):).

3.One of my favorites was something we started at our friends’ iftar potlucks this year. In the weeks before as we decided on what dishes we would each bring, we also decided on a surah from the Quran to discuss at our gathering. And then on the day of, after dinner and all was done and we were sitting with our chai, we would go over the surah (a chapter from the Quran). In between all of the memories we have made together, the laughter & the heart-to-hearts, these discussions about faith and spirituality, our own personal lessons and takeaways from the surahs + the accompaning tafseer (explanation of the Quran) that we all read through to prepare, it just felt like a different kind of layer added to our friendships alhamdullilah.

It helps that we all come from similar place in our hearts about our faith, and that we all share the love of wanting to learn and understand our faith better. There’s little judgement and lots of room to hear each other’s point of view and room to grow through these very open and frank discussions we have been able to have.

Beautiful cards we were gifted and loved using by Pyarful

4. I have also loved embracing simple this year, didn’t take any stress for decorating or to prepare for Ramadan, did whatever I could whenever and just enjoyed the process. I think that is becoming my philosophy for everything in life and I’m kind of enjoying the process of moving towards that.

Inspired by Busra & Tamania, loved setting up a little corner on the bar cart in our dining area to lay out our Qurans, a few dua books, Anya’s Quran story books + other favorite reads with a message on our letter board to make up as decor + inspiration to read/pray more!

A few of our most favorite books/reads this year : This beautiful copy of the Quran that my friend gifted me / The story of the Holy Prophet Muhammad / Muhammad : How he can make you extraordinary / Pray & Play Ramadan activity book for kids /

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5. And of course biggest excitement was the first fast for Anya mashallah – reminding me of my own when I was around the same age. Broke my heart a little bit because it ended up happening on a day I had a golden hour session scheduled (so many late nights because of weekend iftars & other things kept delaying it and I realized this was the only chance now). Mom guilt at the back of my mind reminding me how I should’ve been there for her to open her fast, but I made up by making sure to have a celebratory iftar ready and laid out, taking her shopping for treats AND I reached in time to join them for dinner so it was okay. Loved hearing ‘Mama I did it’ and the biggest smile on her face!

6. I’ve wanted to do this for a few years & finally made a dua-list this year. It was basically just a list of all of the specific prayers I want to make that I would use after taraveeh prayer or whenever I felt like making a long detailed dua. Made it a special point to remember family members & friends who have any specific struggles going on.

And that’s all that I can think of right now! Until next year inshallah taalah.

Excited for share about Eid now. Hope your Ramadan + Eid were blessed!

Lots of love, Nataliya