Today marks the first day of Ramadan, a month-long celebration for Muslims around the world. Ramadan occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is a time for prayer, fasting, and self-reflection. According to Islamic tradition, Ramadan is when Allah, God, revealed the first verses of the Qu’ran, the holy book, to the prophet Muhammed.
We asked our former intern, Mitul Daiyan, to share with us how she and her family celebrate and what the holiday means to her:
Ramadan, to me, is a time to start fresh. It’s a month of self-improvement and realizing that there’s more to the world than just yourself. I use this month as an opportunity to deeply reflect on who I am and how I can better myself as a person. I love that Ramadan brings families together. During the day, we read Quran and try to do as many acts of good as we can. As a child, there would be many iftaar (the breaking of the fast) parties and after eating, we’d remember God by praying together.
My mom continues to make delicious meals of Piyaji (a mixture of blended lentils, onions, peppers that is deep fried), Beguni ( Eggplant tempura), and chickpeas with muri (kind of like rice krispies). In our family, we ALWAYS make lemonade for iftaar. It’s a a very sweet ending to the day! Also, every Ramadan, we always select two days out of the month to provide our local masjid (place of worship) with iftaar for everyone. It’s an enormous task where we typically end up cooking from sunup till an hour before sundown. It’s totally worth it though.
To all those who are celebrating Ramadan this year, we wish you a good and meaningful holiday!