During Ramadan, everything turns upside down. You eat breakfast before dawn; the first signs of anger and temptation suddenly also become the first reminders of restraint; and your experiences of community, if they involve communal prayer, involve more silence than chatter.
And for some of us, your nights become your days.
The regular schedule: work during the busy, bright day, and sleep away peaceful nights. The Ramadan schedule, at least in my household: move slowly—if at all—during the day, and be your most vibrant in the darker hours. Don’t waste the silent night by sleeping. Read! Pray! Meditate! Consider yoga to get you past your post-iftar slump. Catch up on the work your mind was too tired to focus on during the day.
In my home, this schedule turned upside down is our most cherished Ramadan tradition. My toddler son asleep, his terrible-two’s-tendencies no longer a distraction, my seven-year-old daughter and I sink into the living room couch, books in hand. She with the latest adventures of Tinkerbell, me with Ann Patchett’s Truth & Beauty. We compete (or so she thinks) to see who can get through a chapter more quickly, but mostly we just sit side-by-side, immersed in our different worlds, but enjoying even more the world where we can finally sit in silence, the sky outside dark, and just read.
Photo Credit: Katie Weilbacher
Asma Uddin is Editor-in-Chief of altMuslimah