Ask a Muslimah, Ramadan has started!!! Update with pictures and recipes to be added :)
Because I know one of the first questions will be "What is Ramadan" :)
Update- Day 1 of Ramadan! If you ladies had any idea how busy I have been the last 24 hours you would be exhausted with me! This morning DH had his final interview to become a US Citizen, he passed! WOO HOO! Although he forgot to wear his wedding ring and forgot our wedding anniversary when being asked questions to determine the validity of our marriage. Apparently the shock and shame on his face of being such a guy the woman took pity on him LOL however she did joke as she walked him out that she was going to spill the beans he forgot our anniversary to me. I was wondering what she was chuckling about when she was waving to me and DH looked so uh-oh for! We go back on the 27thand he will take the Oath of Allegiance and thus will have completed the process and be a US Citizen. We had a last minute dash to get all the paperwork in order which required me to go to the IRS office yesterday, o.m.g. you just don't know everything with that. Basically I am bad at directions and can't find my way out of a paper bag without GPS and even withGPS the ordeal took my parents giving my directions using Google Street View, asking for directions from two police officers a postal carrier and walking a mile in 90+ heat only to discover I could have parked directly across the street. THEN after that having DH show up at the IRS office about 5 minutes after I had gotten there so he could pick up the tax transcripts so I wouldn't have to. Obviously we didn't communicate on the issue so we were bothshocked that the other was there. Yeah not fun. Then there was today getting to the interview, walking in the heat, grocery shopping, and running a bunch of last minute errands to complete the Ramadan prep that I am now late for because everything has been so cahotic. And now DS just crawled up to me with a grossed out look on his face telling me he has a poopy diaper *sniff*sniff* yeah its a poopy diaper. Ah the joys of motherhood! LOL.
So it been a few days and ladies are still asking questions in the post and also PMing me questions because they are too shy to ask them. Which again is totally fine. :) So I figure I will update this post through Ramadan as well as Eid add some step by step Arab recipes with pictures so if your feeling adventurous you can try them at home, as well as take some pictures when we go to the Eid prayer and celebrations. So tonight is Arab food night. I have yet to start cooking. DH gets home until 9:30pm so I figure I will start at 8. On the menu- goat served over turmeric rice, stuffed grape leaves, and corn on the cob. Corn on the cob isn't a very Arab thing, I am just having a massive pregnancy craving for it :) Desert hasn't been figured out yet. I am thinking I am going to make a quick cobbler either peach or cherry. Yes, I will make baklava and take pictures I just couldn't find all the ingredients for it today.
Sawm: Fasting the Month of Ramadhan
Sawm(Fasting the Month of Ramadhan)
The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting. Allah prescribes daily fasting for all able, adult Muslims during the whole of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar, beginning with the sighting of the new moon.
Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physicalside, fasting is from first light of dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexualrelations. On the moral, behavioralside, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarreling and trivial nonsense.
Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing are permitted to break the fast, but must make up an equal number of days later in the year. If physically unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for each day missed. Children begin to fast (and to observe the prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier.
Although fasting is beneficial to the health, it is regarded principally as a method of self-purification. By cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts, even for a short time, the fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieves growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility.
In addition to the fast proper, one is encouraged to read the entire Qur'an. In addition, special prayers, called Tarawih, are held in the mosque every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur'an(Juz') is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur'an has been completed. These are done in remembrance of the fact that the revelation of the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was begun during Ramadan.
During the last ten days - though the exact day is never known and may not even be the same every year - occurs the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr). To spend that night in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah's reward for it is very great.
On the first day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted, a special celebration is made, called 'Id al-Fitr. A quantity of staple food is donated to the poor (Zakat al-Fitr), everyone has bathed and put on their best, preferably new, clothes, and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends.
There are other fast days throughout the year. Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the monthfollowingRamadan, Mondays and Thursdays, and the ninth and tenth, or tenth and eleventh of Muharram, the first month of the year. The tenth day, called Ashurah, is also a fast day for the Jews (Yom Kippur), and Allah commanded the Muslims to fast two days to distinguish themselves from the People of the Book.
While fasting per seis encouraged, constant fasting, as well as monasticism, celibacy, and otherwise retreating from the realworld, are condemned in Islam. Fasting on the two festival days, 'Id al-Fitr and 'Id al-Adha, the feast of the Hajj, is strictly forbidden.