Saturday, 21 July 2012

The spirit of things

It seems like Ramadan just sneaked up on me this year. I knew it was coming, but it just didn't register until I found myself waking up at 04:45am this morning for Suhur - the recommended breakfast before the fast. It's not easy eating at that time of the morning, but experience has taught me that it's better to try to eat something than not to.

So the holy month of Ramadan officially commenced in Johannesburg today from 05:27am this morning, until we broke the fast at 17:39pm this evening, at sunset. It's not that bad considering that my relatives in Copenhagen, Denmark will be fasting for like 21 hours, from dawn until dusk.

And thus, the next few weeks will bring about a more subdued version of me. In addition, this Ramadan, (a one time special only) I'd like to relay my own (very) personal experiences on what it means to be a Muslim living and working in the 21st century and what this month means to me - as well as dispelling the myths around that.

With that, I'd like to wish everyone observing this auspicious month a blessed Ramadan. May The Almighty SWT accept all our duas and efforts during this month.


  1. Is Happy Ramadan an appropriate thing to say? If so, Happy Ramadan!

  2. I'll be interested to see it from your personal point of view - compared to that of the average Malaysian.

  3. have a fulfilling Ramadan, Azra.

  4. All the best with Ramadan, my dear. :-) In the fmr Yugoslavia, Ramadan was widely celebrated in Bosnia & Herzegovina as Bosnia had/has a Muslim's called Ramazan (emphasis on the "ma") and then Eid is called Bajram (pronounced Buy-rahm). This random factoid was brought to you by Sunday night randomness! ;-)

  5. Hope it's a good one and good luck with the fasting! I've never been able to do it. But I keep hearing about how fasting has done great things for many artists' minds/sensory perceptions.

  6. rooth
    "Happy Ramadan" is fine :) And thank you for that. Among the Muslims (even some of my Jewish friends) we say either Ramadan Mubarak which means something like "Congratulations it's Ramadan or Ramadan Karim which means something like "Have a blessed/generous Ramadan" - to summarise, both mean Happy Ramadan ;D

    Terra Shield
    I look forward to relaying my personal experiences. Let's hope I have both the time and energy for it :)

    Thank You :))

    Pretzel Thief
    Thank you for that enlightening information. I always knew that there were many Muslims in that region but it's always great to know the cultural differences :)

    Roving Retorter
    Thanks - the first few days are tough, but after that it's generally smooth sailing ;)

  7. Az, I've fasted half my life... I'm a teacher who needs to remember to eat and drink. Why the subdued version of you?

  8. RCB
    Subdued because in Ramadan, the lack of food and water makes me a quiet person. I talk much less. I don't swear etc. I'm half the person I usually am.

  9. It's funny you should mention that. For now I wonder what would happen in class if I were to allow myself something to eat and drink. The noise would be deafening.

  10. RCB
    You don't have break time Randy? I don't believe that. It must be against the law or something.