That time of year has arrived: Here comes Ramadan

As Ramadan approaches, our thoughts turn the higher things in life. Here is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on a beautiful spring afternoon. (Photo by Hind Al Kindi)

By Noor Abddoulhamid

ABU DHABI—Ramadan is almost here and I think everyone is excited about it. Every year waits for this month to celebrate and do family gathering. And of course fasting.

Ramadan is not all about food as everyone think it’s. It’s about fasting, worshiping god and being close to your family members. Emirati families usually do a big gathering on first Friday in Ramadan so everyone can enjoy the vibe of Ramadan, being close to each other, sharing stories with our grandparents and praying together.

Emirati families usually prepare the Ramadan at least one week before. In our family, my mother does food preparation for tradition food in Ramadan such as harees, fareed and samboosas.

My mother says that a daily Ramadan staple is harees. She only cooks it during Ramadan, which I find regrettable because it’s tasty and filling and a great thing to have for Iftar, but also the year round.

For people who don’t know what harees is it’s a thick porridge made with a few simple ingredients. These include wheatberries, choice of meat, water, salt, pepper and cinnamon.

The other preparation is that we prepare our souls for Ramadan to be close from God. We fast after halfway through Sha’baan to prepare for fasting in Ramadan.

A nightime view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi during the Ramadan season. (Photo by Noor Abddoulhamid)

When Muslims hear about the arrival of Ramadan, they need to remember the purpose of Ramadan. Allah Almighty does not need the fasting, the thirst and hunger of a Muslim; rather, it is all for the personal good of a Muslim and the wellbeing of society.

I’m super excited for Ramadan nights because I get to be very close to my family and God.

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