I stroll from one epoch to a different with no reminiscence
to information me. The prophets over there are sharing
the historical past of the holy … ascending to heaven
and returning much less discouraged and melancholy, as a result of love
and peace are holy and are coming to city.
Darwish, Mahmoud. “In Jerusalem.” Translated by Fady Joudah, The Butterfly’s Burden, Copper Canyon Press, 2008.
Ramadan mubarak! Ramadan is the holiest month within the yr of the Islamic calendar, and I’ve been listening to about it since I acquired to Jordan. Attending to expertise Ramadan in a majority Muslim nation has been so enriching and thrilling, and I’m trying ahead to sharing my experiences on this submit. I’m no professional, although, so if you wish to be taught extra concerning the non secular or historic context for Ramadan, I’ve added hyperlinks that designate extra on the backside.
What Is Ramadan?
Earlier than I got here to Jordan, I assumed I understood Ramadan: a month when Muslims quick throughout daylight. With my restricted understanding, I solely thought-about the issue of fasting, with out realizing a lot concerning the non secular or cultural context.
Seems, there’s much more happening throughout this time! The most effective comparability I could make to Ramadan for Christians is a mix of Lent and Christmas. Simply as many Christians quick in some capability throughout Lent, Muslims abstain from consuming, ingesting, and smoking through the day in Ramadan. And similar to Christmas is a time of pleasure, Ramadan can be a season of neighborhood, gathering, and celebration.
Ramadan decorations in Taj Mall Ramadan lights in Aqaba
Throughout Ramadan, many individuals’s work schedules change to make fasting simpler. In Jordan, working hours will sometimes begin round 10am and finish round 3pm. And for a lot of eating places, the workday doesn’t actually begin till sundown and continues all night time!
Ramadan as a Foreigner
For non-Muslims residing in Jordan, it can be crucial that we additionally stay versatile and adapt throughout this time. A part of respecting the tradition will not be consuming or ingesting in public throughout fasting hours. Many companies and most eating places and cafes are closed through the day. Discovering transportation can be troublesome proper earlier than and through iftar, and it’s essential to time commutes rigorously as a result of the roads get extra harmful when a bunch of hangry drivers try to get house to interrupt their quick.
Put up-iftar ice cream
If all of this makes you assume that Ramadan is irritating to expertise as a foreigner, assume once more! At nighttime, the streets are lit up and crowds of persons are exterior in any respect hours consuming and socializing. It’s straightforward to remain up later as a result of work and lessons are additionally beginning late, providing you with loads of time to sleep in. I’ve been calling my pals within the U.S. extra throughout Ramadan as a result of the time distinction is simpler to navigate once I can keep up late.
The most effective Arabic TV dramas launch new seasons throughout Ramadan as a result of persons are watching tv to take their minds off being hungry. Iftar is usually an enormous household gathering, the place individuals keep up late into the night time ingesting tea, smoking, and speaking—I’m penning this submit at 11pm on a weeknight, and the massive group of family members gathered in my host household’s front room present no indicators of leaving anytime quickly! And don’t even get me began on Ramadan meals: qatayef (candy stuffed pancakes), lokma (small donuts soaked in syrup), contemporary apricot and tamarind juices, lentil soup, dates…
All of this combines to make Ramadan not like something I’ve ever skilled within the U.S., and fully unforgettable.
Suhoor: pre-fast meal eaten earlier than dawn
Fajr: prayer at daybreak; marks the start of fasting
Iftar: the meal eaten after sundown to interrupt the quick. It is not uncommon to eat iftar along with prolonged household and/or pals.
Adhan: the decision to prayer
Ramadan mubarak: a greeting that interprets to “Blessed Ramadan”
Ramadan kareem: a greeting that interprets to “Beneficiant Ramadan”
Need to be taught extra about Ramadan? Listed below are some websites I discovered useful:
What Is Ramadan? Fasting, Dates, Historical past, and Extra (learnreligions.com)
Why Do Muslims Quick? – Islam Query & Reply (islamqa.data)
The Historical past of Ramadan | Muslim Charity | Muslim Assist