Diary of a Fasting Girl: Ramadan, Day One

June 18, 2015

Ramadan is here, rejoice!!!

At long looooong last, Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar is here!! The beautiful month in which the Holy Quran, the holy book of Muslims, was revealed by Allah (God) upon our beloved Prophet, Muhammad bin Abdullah (Peace and Blessings be upon him). Hence, the reason this month is often referred to as “The Month of the Quran.”

This month, therefore, is very special to Muslims all over the world. In the honor of the descent of the Quran to mankind, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for the whole month, which is also one of the Five Pillars of Islam. That means, no food, water, or intercourse (basically all our carnal needs) during that time. Most of our free time is utilized in worship, charity and good deeds.

This year, it started today, June 18, 2015. Well, technically, it started yesterday at sunset, when the silver sliver of the beautiful moon was spotted, peeking down at us coyly.

And as excited as I was, this was going to be my first ever June fast, 15 long hours of no food nor water. Or so I thought. Turns out, it wasn’t half bad, Alhumdulillah (Praise be to God).

Granted, there really isn’t much time to sleep between Iftar (breaking of the fast) and Suhoor (closing of the fast), but 7 hours of sleep after Fajr (the dawn prayer) held me up most of the day. I did start to crash around 6 in the afternoon ( just three hours before Iftar), but I just lay down for 10-15 minutes to let that wave of exhaustion wash over. Phew.

What else do Muslims do in Ramadan? What does their daily schedule look like, you say?

Well… like everyone else’s. We work, go to school, play sports, read, write, manage households, etc, etc. None of that changes. However, in this month in particular, scholarship of the Quran goes waaaayy up. And I don’t mean in terms of people specializing or majoring in Quranic Studies. I mean, daily recitation of the Arabic text, reading or listening to the translation in native languages, listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos on different topics mentioned in the Quran, etc.

I’ve told you guys the jist of Ramadan (I strongly suggest that you further research the topic, as I might have made a mistake in my explanation), I am going to keep a daily journal of my activities, things I discover, things I learn that I am oh-so-eager to share with the rest of the world, maybe even what I eat! This is for my benefit and your curiosity! And whether you choose to read this further, I will keep on writing!!

App of the Day: Ramadan Legacy

 So, upon my daily perusing of Facebook, I came across a recommendation of this app by an amazing designer, Peter Gould (Google him, if you’re into design and tech). Ramadan Legacy is the perfect app for keeping track of your daily Ramadan tasks and activities. Beautifully designed, it is both Android and iOS compatible. It keeps track of how many fasts you have completed, how many prayers you have offered, whether or not you were able to make it to Taraweeh, and how much Quran you have read each day.

Not only that, everyday it give an Ayah (verse)  from the Quran, a Dua (supplication) and a Hadith(the sayings of the Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him) to memorize. Furthermore, you can set three personal goals that you want to accomplish within the month of Ramadan, whether it is kicking a bad habit or memorizing surahs(sections) from the Quran.

There is also a tab for journaling. It’s like keeping a short blog of each day or part of day, depending on how much you are documenting. You can attach photos to those entries, whether it’s to show the amount of people that show up at the Taraweeh or to display the delicious table spread that you mother cooked up or to show off your awesome abaya or thobe that you plan on wearing at prayers the next day. This aspect of the app links with another aspect, social sharing. This element of the app lets you share your thoughts and reflections with anyone else who has downloaded this app as well.

Finally, you can invite your friends or sign up with Facebook so that you can see all the friends that have this app and you can choose to share your status board with them, so that they can marvel at your progress (or lack there of) and send you an awed “MashaAllah(With God’s Will)” or an encouraging “InshaAllah(If God Wills).” And again, you can completely keep this private from the eyes of anyone letting it become a private tally board to keep better track of your days!

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I personally love this app, as it’s an awesome source of encouragement to do better each day. I recommend it whole-heartedly and praise the brothers and sisters that put effort into creating such a beautiful app.

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