My kids went back to school on Tuesday. It’s our third year at Petite Maison and it feels like home. My kids have the same teacher as before, and she welcomed us with hugs and kisses. I love this school and am thrilled to be beginning another year there – it’s a very special place.
Tuesday also marked the beginning of Ramadan. The Muslim calendar goes back 10 days every year, so Ramadan is now making its way into the summer months. This means that the fasting days are hotter and longer – more challenging for sure. I’m not able to fast this year as I’m still breastfeeding the Baby (who started solids today!), so I’m trying to focus on other aspects of the month like a heightened attention to spirituality and charity and sharing stories and prayer with my family.
It feels strange not fasting two years in a row – last year I was pregnant. As difficult as the fasts are, there’s something very soothing about the rituals of eating at sunrise and breaking one’s fast at sunset. For me, it moves me on several levels – it reminds me of my childhood, those same rituals constant as my life evolves, and it also gives me a sense of unity with the other Muslims in the world. All over the place, we’re all doing the same thing each day for the same reasons.
Wikipedia has a good, brief description of Ramadan:
Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان, Ramaḍān) is a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, believed to be the month in which the Qur’an was revealed to Angel Gabriel, who later revealed it to the Prophet Muhammad. It is the Islamic month of fasting (sawm), in which participating Muslims do not eat or drink anything from dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the person patience and humility. Ramadan is a time to fast for the sake of God, and to offer even more prayer than usual. In Ramadan Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance into the future, ask for help in refrain from everyday evils and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.