Welcome to the dining table.
During the month of Ramadan, we encounter many small yet significant moments that define our spiritual experiences. One defining moment for most of us (and one we may often take for granted) is that of Iftar.
And while iftar is valuable in reminding us of our blessings, we tend to forget the beautiful gift that Allah (SWT) has given us: the moment in which we sit around a table (or on the floor) with our friends and family, renewing intention and breaking our fasts together.
Sadly, this beautiful moment can feel immensely lonely and quiet for those who are away from home, or who have reverted to Islam away from their families. It is in this moment that we can locate where we stand with our surrounding world in conjunction to our spiritual universe. And now with lockdown, many more of us may feel the burden of this solitude.
This section is for all.
RMC’s ‘Iftar Reflections’ has been created as a discussion board for us to connect with each other. Here, you will be able to discuss your lockdown iftar moments, the little things you have done to make this experience more enlightened for yourselves and others, and how you are coping on this journey of isolation.
On top of that we will also be hosting a Virtual Iftar on Zoom.
We don’t want anyone to feel left out this Ramadan, and with us all stuck indoors (some still with all or part of their families) we will be hosting a Virtual Iftar. Here we will sit and break our fasts together; sharing, talking and most importantly – eating together.
Even if you are at home with your families, this is a moment to share with friends in our community
This will be hosted on Zoom every fortnight insha’Allah.
We look forward to welcoming you into our homes.
4 thoughts on “Iftar Reflections”
How times have changed, we now cautiously buy our groceries and clean them one by one, flushing them out with anti-bacterial and then rinsing them. I know, it might seem like a first world problem and it truly is. Reflecting on my privileges in this state of lockdown…oh how Ramadan has truly changed.
Today’s iftar was beautiful, my family and I opened our fast with a date and some chai, prayed Maghreb Salah then finally sat down and watched Ertugrul together. (Turkish series based on the Ottoman Empire)
Why was it beautiful? Well, because we weren’t just sitting there in silence, drowning in the television series. Instead we were laughing, passing food around and glancing over one another with smiles on our faces. It was a special moment, showing that even in tough moments, during this lockdown and isolation period, the light of Ramadan rushes through and saves us from the darkness. And for a moment… just for a moment, we were able to forget about the world outside and focus on what was in-front of us.
Today, I am grateful for life, and for every privilege I hold. Food, family and shelter- all praises are indeed due to The Most High.
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Every iftar I am reminded of the very first of the month. The first gathering around the table, setting out the food, the first sip of water. The gratitude I feel in those moments is astounding, as Faiza said above, I am indebted to our bountiful Creator for the food, the family, the shelter and warmth of my home.
Most of the year I am held captive by a fear of time flying past, leaving precious memories and moments in its wake, but the moments before Iftar, time slows down. My awareness of the rope tethering me to Him is so apparent, almost tangible. My absolute need and dependence on our Lord is palpable, just as His Love feels manifest. In that moment I became so attentive to Him, and the intertwining of His Love and ours, after the day spent in devotion to Him.
It is this which feels like the biggest gift of all. It felt as though I had never realised it before this first iftar and as though maybe I would never feel it again. All this wrapped into the moment before a sip of water, something we do most of the year without barely a thought and yet at this time, and in this month, it came with a cascade of emotions pouring in.
Then, despite the hunger and thirst screaming to be appeased before, a date, some water and some fruit came, and all that is disappeared. What my body was pining for not long ago was suddenly gone. As I turned to pray, my eyes swelled with tears with gratitude for this gift that soothed my body, for my family that soothed my soul but holding ever tighter the knowledge that despite all that this world could offer, without what my soul needed, without my connection to Him, I would be nothing.
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Ramadan during this pandemic may seem disheartening but in some instances, it is a blessing in disguise. The ideal time for reflection of our small privileges and blessings we never once took much time to consider.
One of our traditions during Ramadan as a family is we tune into Shan-e-Ramazan, (a Pakistani Ramadan programme) that tells you stories of the prophet (peace be upon him), life lessons, my favourite Naat-Khua’an’s make an appearance and has beautiful tilawats (Qur’an recitations). It ends on the Maulana making a beautiful dua, that never fails to hit a chord, as he finishes up, our hands remain raised as we make our personal duas. Our dastarkhan (table spread) laid in front of us. One is teary, another’s stomach rumbles, the other announces there is a minute remaining, we grab our dates. We break our fast by reciting the dua in unison. It is just a beautiful moment that lasts for only a couple of minutes but remains in our hearts for a lifetime. There is so much peace in that moment, as we delve into worlds of our own, forgetting about the chaos of the outside world. Just ourselves surrounded by loved ones.
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This is absolutely beautiful Iqra! Masha’Allah, every word felt like a vehicle to a journey with you through your beautiful traditions. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!