Ramadan, a time to re-connect with everyone

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Ramadan, a time to re-connect with everyone
20-year-old Sheikha Benazir is a Human Resource Student from Mauritius

'I feel so close to Allah while fasting, praying, reading the Holy Quran'

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Published: Mon 20 Jun 2016, 7:18 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Jun 2016, 8:20 AM

My family starts gearing up for Ramadan about a week before it actually commences. We stock up our pantry and fridge in order to minimise our going out in the heat while fasting. Another exciting part of Ramadan for us is our Majlis tent that we put up to receive guests for Iftar as well as suhoor. I have been fasting since I was six years old and I don't ever remember not seeing our Majlis tent. In fact, it has always been the highlight of the holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan really enriches my spiritual side and fixes my routine like never before. I feel so close to Allah while fasting, praying, reading the Holy Quran, making duas and I can't even describe how well my routine gets fixed during this holy month. I just want this beautiful month to go on forever as it fills me with immense peace and tranquility.
Look at Ramadan from any angle and you'll see what a fantastic time it is. In terms of body, it is a time when we are able to detoxify our system as we fast, our digestive system gets some rest thereby improving our metabolism. In terms of our social and familial ties, it strengthens ties of love and feeling of togetherness as we get to spend quality time with our family and friends at Iftars and suhoors. Our everyday lives have become so busy that we don't get to see our loved ones very often so Ramadan gives this opportunity of bringing everyone together.
Last year I took summer classes in college during the month of Ramadan and I must confess that although it got a bit tiring (as I used to leave for college around 11am and returned only at 6.30 pm), I enjoyed the atmosphere at college. Surprisingly, the time would just fly. The blessings that prevail this month can actually be felt as the toughest of tasks are done almost effortlessly. And I do not think that fasting hampers any of our day-to-day chores. So far, I haven't had any difficulties studying and writing my exams during the month of Ramadan. On the contrary, I perform well in terms of work, working out, doing chores. I don't really feel tired or hungry as I keep myself busy.
The best part about the holy month is meeting up with old friends, going for Iftars or suhoor almost everyday, which makes it so special to connect again with everyone, once in a while.
Some of the Ramadan habits inculcated in me since childhood will remain with me forever. For example, my mother always ensured that we don't let go off our head scarves during Ramadan; listening to music is strictly prohibited for us during this period; and the last one is a strict order of not to eat secretly (I used to that a lot)!
Although, spending Ramadan in the UAE is absolutely wonderful because I've been here for the past 18 years but since I do not have all of my relatives and extended family here, the prospect of going back to Mauritius for the holy month would always come up. So in 2012, when I went back to Mauritius to spend my first Ramadan there, the feeling was overwhelming and has been the most memorable for me till date.
What made it so special, other than the fact that it was my first Ramadan in my home-country, was that I was spending Ramadan with all my relatives (cousins, aunts, uncles and rest of my relatives) for the first time. The feeling of opening your fast in your home-country, having your traditional food with your own folks is irreplaceable.
(As told to Saman Haziq)
Sheikha Benazir,  Mauritius,  20 years, Human Resource Student

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