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Amani's First Ramadan and What It Meant to Me
Every year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world fast from dawn until dusk as an act of worship. Children, elderly, and nursing or pregnant mothers are exempt. With Amani just barely two months at the start of this Ramadan, I knew I wouldn’t be fasting along with my family and friends. To say I felt left out is an understatement. It didn’t feel like Ramadan to me, but I had a very good excuse for not fully participating.
Being pregnant or nursing is very taxing on the body. I don’t have to explain to you mamas the effect it has on our bodies. To produce and nourish these beautiful babes, our bodies have to work double time. Through my nurturing and nourishing, I am rewarded, as those motherly duties are also considered acts of worship.
Hosting family dinners to break the fast at sunset were challenging. I resorted to catering for a few dinners as I knew that Amani’s “witching hour” always coincided with the time to break fast. I wasn’t complaining. I actually got to sit down and eat with my guests versus being the frantic host that I normally am. Welcoming guests into your home and feeding others are also considered acts of worship.
Every single morning, Amani would wake up just before dawn for one of her feedings. Those predawn meals for her were a perfect way to wake me up for my dawn prayers. I like to consider her my own sweet, little alarm clock.
Ramadan is an excellent time to increase in good deeds and acts of kindness. Amani was in tow during two Eid — the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan — toy drives where the community came out to donate and wrap gifts for local, needy families.
Amani’s presence enhanced this year’s Ramadan and proved to me that even Ramadan with a newborn can still be just as meaningful and rewarding.