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My Ramadan Fast

My Ramadan Fast

The smell of food wafted into my room and I stared at my phone’s screen. Only 7:45 pm. I slumped back into my pillow with a groan. I still had 45 minutes to wait before I could break my fast, and the tempting aromas coming from the kitchen were not helping. But instead of letting the delicious smell of food get to me, I began to think of why I was fasting in the first place. I thought about all the rewards Allah (God) promises Muslims for fasting. I also thought about the most important reason to fast--to understand the situation of others and to help them with open hearts.

In celebration of my first fast this year, my mom was cooking up a feast and ordering all kinds of my favorite food. I could hear the distant voice of my mom ordering sushi. While waiting for iftaari (the time I could end the day’s fast), I quickly grabbed my computer before I could think about the treats waiting outside my room’s walls. I typed in YouTube and gritted my teeth when a picture of a hamburger popped up along with a recipe for macrons. “Seriously!” I muttered under my breath. I yanked out my headphones and heard my brother’s laughter and the soft thud of a ball hitting a wall. I longed to go and play soccer with him to take my mind off of my ridiculous cravings, but I thought the better of it, so I looked up some verses from the Quran and started reading.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims believe they can earn 70 times the amount of good deeds than in any other month of the year, and I was planning to take full advantage. I kept reading until I heard my mom call out to me. At first I didn’t want to get up, so I lay there, in my little cocoon of blankets, but I knew I would have to get up anyway. So I threw off the blanket and marched out of my dark room. Outside, I was immediately met with a warm breeze, a contrast to my almost-too-cool room. Yet, even though the day had been sunny, it hadn’t been very hot. I liked to think that God had done that to make it easier for those of us who were fasting.

I joined my mom in the kitchen and made fruit salad, as she prepared various dishes that are made specifically for Ramadan. I helped set them out on the table just as my mom called out the end of the fast. I grabbed a date as the first food I’d eat at the end of the fast, following the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), because he used to break his own fast with dates. I said a quick prayer asking God to send me to heaven and to help me become a better Muslim and for the cat I so desperately want to get. I also prayed for the success of the Muslim organization my mom and I am a part of, called Muslim Volunteers for New York, and all the work we did during Ramadan dedicated to the food drive for food-insecure New Yorkers. After finishing my Dua (prayer) I proceeded to pile food high up onto my plate and grabbed lemonade and water.

While my family gathered around the table, we ate in silence, concentrating only on the food in front of us. I couldn’t help but realize how blessed we were to be able to end our fast with such delicious food, unlike some less fortunate people. I closed my eyes and silently asked Allah to help those people, especially through the month of Ramadan. I went back to my food, grateful for my family, and glad that my first fast of the year was complete!        

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Farah Husain

Author: Farah Husain, 11, attends the Trinity School in Manhattan. She enjoys horseback riding, tennis, and soccer, plays the violin, and is part of the Manhattan Debate League. She also volunteers with the organization Muslim Volunteers for NY. See More

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