Ramadan is all done for 2014. As it approached, I felt happy, I felt excited, but I also felt nervous and and scared. I worried about losing my temper with my children and about how hungry and thirsty I would feel during the long summer fasts.
I wrote in detail about my challenges and fears in an earlier post before Ramadan: Concerns of a Mom As Ramadan Approaches. Some of the readers got back to me through comments on Sarah Ager’s blog, while others on my own Facebook and Twitter account. Every one of those people, regardless of their faith or beliefs wished me well and hoped for a smooth and blessed fasting experience.
And tonight, as I sit here reflecting about my Ramadan experience, I am first of all filled with love and gratefulness towards all those people who both openly and in their hearts wished me well during Ramadan, because I truly believe that it was because of your kind thoughts and prayers that Allah Most Merciful indeed blessed my Ramadan.
My previous Ramadan was a much more difficult experience than this time. Last year, I had many moments of feeling light headed and feeling jittery and hypoglycemic. But this year, I felt barely any of that. In fact, I remember going through the first day of fasting wondering how it was possible that I was feeling so healthy. I did have a few moments of feeling hungry or thirsty but they were mostly fleeting and not even close to being unbearable. It was as if God radiated special love and attention on me. I felt unworthy and sometimes wondered if it was even okay to feel alert and active while fasting.
As Ramadan carried on, each and every day, I marveled and gave thanks to God for making me feel healthy and bright enough to fast and take care of my family. And each and every day I remembered to pray for the people who prayed for me and my family.
I am still amazed at how much I was able to accomplish while fasting. My husband and I had placed our four young children at a summer camp from Mondays to Fridays. My husband also mostly worked from home during Ramadan which was another HUGE blessing for our family. We were able to rest a bit after dropping them, then we completed errands and I prepared the meals for breaking the fast.
For the first two weeks of Ramadan, I had also enrolled two of my sons in daily swimming lessons after camp. It was really hectic after camp, when we brought the children home, fed them light snacks and then I drove the two boys for their lessons. I bathed them at the recreation centre showers then fed them at a bench outside, finally taking them home for bed time. Meanwhile, my husband cared for the other two children, bathing and feeding them so that by the time I got home with the boys all the kids were bathed, fed and ready for bed. Once the kids went to bed we would crash on the couch for a bit. Sitting there as I paid attention to my body, I realized that I was not as exhausted as I should have been, which was a miracle. It was really nice to break our fasts in peace and then perform our prayers and engage in extra acts of worship such as reciting Quran, calling on God’s names (known as ‘dhikr’), extra ritual prayers (salat), or watching/reading religious material.
It was an interesting and eventful Ramadan, because during the first week, my mother in law went through a knee replacement surgery, and then during the second week, first one of my sons caught a throat infection and had to go on antibiotics, and then at the end of that week another one of my sons had an accident at his camp. He was climbing up the steps of a slide, when he fell forward and hit his mouth really hard on the metal steps. When I got to camp to pick him up, I saw his swollen lip and his front two teeth were bent inwards. Terribly worried, I called our dentist, who told me to first take him to the hospital emergency room to get examined.
Thankfully my husband was able to pick up the other children from camp on time, take them home and care for them. I was also grateful when the doctor determined that he had no internal injuries and just needed to see the dentist about his bent teeth. The next morning, I took him with a heavy heart to the dentist and paced the waiting room while the dentist removed the fractured portion of his teeth. My family was blessed a million times in that the roots of his teeth were still intact, which is why there was minimal pain as the dentist removed the snapped portion of his teeth.
In addition to visiting my mother in law who was in extreme pain from her surgery (and still is in a lot of pain) and picking up and dropping off the children and dealing with the injuries and sickness, I had to deal with my temper around the children. Although I was able to clamp down on my desire to get angry when they did outrageous and dangerous things better than usual, there were still many moments when I had my outbursts.
At times I felt so crushed and overwhelmed by my children’s dependence on me that I would forget that they are still newbies at life on Earth. But every time I did lose my cool, I would feel immediate regret along with despair over my inability to stay calm and composed at all times. After all, fating is not just about refraining from food drink. It is also refraining from giving in to our ego and mood swings. Sometimes I wonder if any of my fasts are even accepted by God. I hope God forgives me for the times I lost control over my temper around the children.
My every moment of regret and plea for God’s forgiveness was met with the realization that we are all interconnected and that everything good, including raising children to be healthy adults, is achieved through dedication, kindness, cooperation, and self-sacrifice.
So thank you to everyone who prayed for me and my family this Ramadan. I wish and pray for all of you to feel God’s peace in your lives. I wish and pray for all humanity to feel God’s peace in their lives. Ameen!
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Samra Hussain is a stay at home mom. Her passions include reading and writing. In her free time she likes to write for her interfaith blog while also working on her teen fiction novel for girls. She can be found at her blog For the Love of God and you can follow her on Twitter. Make sure you keep an eye out for Samra's debrief once Ramadan is over to see how she got on.
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