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My First Ramadan - Part 2

24th June, 2015

Previously, in My First Ramadan, Fatema was observing her very first fast. Read on for part 2 of Fatema’s experience.

“Fatema! Fatema! Where have you drifted off to? We’re outside school!”

We had already reached school! I had been so lost in my own thoughts!

I quickly thanked Dad for dropping me off (something I had never done before) and ran in before I was late for class.

Throughout the day, all I could think about were those children that had nobody to look after them. I was so lost in my thoughts that I couldn’t concentrate. I was so glad we had life skills studies next; they would probably make us watch a video of something.

I was right, we were watching a video. With the lights off and the classroom quiet and semi-dark, I could sink back and drift back into my troubled thoughts again. I just don’t understand how those children could survive.

“You can have any orphan in the whole orphanage… except Annie.”

Hold on, what? My head shot up, was I thinking out loud? Was I going mad? I looked around the dim classroom; everyone seemed engrossed in the TV screen. What were they watching?

I tuned into the film, it was about an orphan called Annie, who after what seemed like a whirlwind of challenges, ends up being adopted by a very rich couple, and she gets her happy ever after. Is that how it worked in the real world? I needed to find out!

None of us even realised that the day was over until the bell rang.

When I got home, Mum was cooking. After greeting her, I ran upstairs to get changed. I then went downstairs and asked Mum if there was anything I could do to help.

“What’s the matter with you darling, you are acting very strange? Are you okay?” she put her hand to my forehead to check if I had a temperature.

I told her I was okay, I just wanted to learn how to cook, that was all. I sat on the counter and watched Mum as she carried on cooking. She was making my favourite chicken dish! Yum!

It was then that it struck me; I hadn’t thought about food for the rest of the day. I mentioned this to Mum and she smiled at me.

“It is the strength of your mind, sweetheart. You see, fasting strengthens the mind and heart. Focus your thoughts and actions into praying as much as you can in this prestigious month, you will see that you will want this feeling of peace to continue even after Ramadan. The more good deeds we do in this month, the more we will be rewarded by Allah SWT in Jannah (Heaven).”

I had heard about Jannah! It sounded like the most amazing place in the whole world! I couldn’t wait to see it!

After Mum had finished cooking, she cleaned up and we set off to the shops together. She was picking up things like rice, flour and tomatoes. Boring! We got to the confectionery aisle and mum asked me if I would like a treat for when I open my fast. Yes, please! I greedily looked at all the sweets and chocolates and my tummy rumbled.

I stopped, ‘my tummy rumbled’ - that hadn’t happened since this morning at school! It then struck me that my mind had wandered to food again. My mind went back to those orphans; they probably wouldn’t find any of this boring. I felt so ungrateful.

“No, thank you, Mum, I will open my fast and eat whatever you have made for me”. Mum looked at me strangely and slowly nodded her head.

After we had paid, we went home; I had a shower and changed into fresh clothes. I took out my school bag and started my homework for school.

Pretty soon, it was almost time to open my first ever fast. We all sat down at the table to open our fast together. We recited our niyah (prayer of intention) before breaking our fasts. I was surprised at how little I felt like eating! I was full so quickly.

After we had eaten, we cleared the table and washed the dishes (I helped). Soon I heard the familiar sound of the Adhan (call to prayer), performed my wudhu (ablution), and joined Mum on the prayer mat. We performed the evening prayer together and then got ready to go to Mosque to perform the congregational prayers.

Following the recitation of prayers, there were a few community announcements to be made so I waited for Mum to finish listening so we could go home.

I was so tired and sleepy… the Imam (community leader) on the speaker was talking about the Ramadan timetable, the goodness of charity in this month and the importance of prayers…

Wait! Hang on a minute! My eyes lit up! Charity! That was the answer, surely?

A few more announcements followed and then we went home. When we got there, I quickly changed into my pyjamas and said goodnight to Mum and Dad. They both looked at each other and then at me.

“You are going to bed before we even sent you to bed?” I smiled and nodded. I was actually exhausted but I had some planning to do!

Stay posted to find out what Fatema is planning. Coming soon.

For more information on where to send your Ramadan donations, visit Islamic Help’s newly designed website today.