Ramadan 2017: 'Live your life like everyday is Ramadan'
Nisha makes it a point to include a lot of healthy stuff on her dining table at Iftar.
Dubai - Nisha lauds the UAE government for giving residents an opportunity to spend quality time with their families during the holy month.
According to Nisha Khathija and her husband Niaz Ahmed, Manglorians (from the Indian state of Karnataka), Ramadan in the UAE is truly a blessing.
"Every year I look forward to the holy month of Ramadan in the UAE as no where in the world will we get to feel the spirit of this beautiful month better than in the UAE. This is my ninth year in the UAE," Nisha said.
Nisha lauds the UAE government for giving residents an opportunity to spend quality time with their families during the holy month. "My husband comes home before Iftar due to reduced working hours. This gives him ample time to be with our daughter Kiara, 5, and son Nivan 1 and visit family and friends for Iftars. Also, we, as a family, at times go out before Iftar time and give out food and water to workers working at nearby sites."
Children so curious to know
"Every year Ramadan stays for a month and leaves, but we never realise the impact it has on our lives. Last Ramadan we had a new member in our family - my son Nivan was born. It was a bit hectic with the little one, but this year it's great with my husband Niaz and daughter kiara fasting, praying and helping me in the kitchen too. My daughter just started learning about Islam. She is curious to know and learn more about Ramadan. I feel good when she shoots random questions at me and shows interest in fasting.
"Since my daughter Kiara is in that age group when kids ask a lot of questions, I hold conversations with her regarding the importance of the holy month of Ramadan. Most importantly, I tell her about the power and importance of prayer, more so during the holy month and how it can help us get all our sins forgiven," Nisha said.
Also, since food holds a lot of importance, Nisha makes it a point to include a lot of healthy stuff on her dining table at Iftar.
"Ramadan is that one month of the year when my entire family gets hands-on into the kitchen, at least a couple of hours before Iftar. My husband and my daughter lend a helping hand by cutting fruits and setting the table. It's just such a beautiful way to bond with everyone," Nisha told Khaleej Times.
We enjoy South Indian dishes
Nisha and her husband Niaz are both foodies and enjoy traditional South Indian dishes for Iftar.
Describing the traditional dishes, Nisha said: "We prefer to end our fast with our traditional South Indian delicacies such as our my family's favourite coconut congee, which is a porridge made from rice, coconut, fenugreek & green gram; then we have steamed rice flour balls; at times banana podis (banana strips coated with maida and sugar and deep fried), and sweet potato podis (sweet potato strips dipped in gram flour, sprinkled with spices and deep fried). Sometimes when we have guests over, we also add some sweet dishes to our Iftar such as cashew pudding, sheera (made with rava, sugar & cashews)."
Since it's summer time, a lot of cool stuff also makes way to Nisha's dining table. These include fruit juices like lemonade, mango, watermelon etc; falooda and lots of cut fruits.
Month of Forgiveness
Talking about the spiritual aspect of the month, Niaz said: "It is important to know that the holy month of Ramadan is the time to empty your stomach and feed your soul. Hence we don't over indulge in eating but believe in feeding the needy around us. There are Ramadan fridges allotted in our neighbourhood for the needy, and we refill them whenever we pass by. My daughter Kiara loves to donate her clothes and toys with the thought that some child somewhere will be going to use it excites her."
Niaz and Nisha believe that the holy month of Ramadan is the month of forgiveness and therefore, one must stay close to anything that reminds them of Allah.
The family lives by the motto that 'Live every day of your life like Ramadan and your Hereafter will become your Eid".