Thursday, May 23, 2024

Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi: The Ritual of Ramadan

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I stand by the window and watch as canines roam by way of the compound of my home. Behind me, a plate of eba and ewedu soup sits on the ground, begging to be swallowed. Earlier than I began praying, I gulped a bottle of water to fill my abdomen and that appears to be why I’ve misplaced the urge for food for Sahur however it isn’t; I’ve simply completed studying Zaina Arafat‘s essay, “Quick for Ramadan Whereas Gaza Goes Hungry,” the place she provides a narration of her childhood reminiscence of how Ramadan was once for her and her household in Palestine. It has change into my morning routine since Ramadan began to learn one thing earlier than heading to the mosque for the morning prayer. Earlier than I began studying the essay, I positioned the Qur’an on the cupboard after finishing a Juz’ and as an alternative of consuming straight away, my cellphone pings, a notification from Instagram and from one follower’s story, I encountered Zaina Arafat’s essay. I ought to have eaten earlier than studying the essay.

Ramadan has not at all times been reflective for me. I grew up understanding the month as only a ritual to be noticed, in any other case you’d be denied two items of meat or taking pap with milk throughout iftar. However after I moved to Ilorin for my English diploma, it grew to become a ladder to succeed in God: I prayed laborious for good grades; to get my pitches commissioned; to land a good-paying job after faculty. Final yr, the holy month morphed to change into some type of life straightener – I attempted finishing the Qur’an, prayed more durable and have become extra charitable. I used final yr’s to wish for a greater life however I’ve been struggling to discover a course for this yr’s. And studying Zaina’s essay revealed why. Though I’ve been avoiding interactions in regards to the tragedy in Gaza for a lot of months, the considered maintaining a healthy diet whereas youngsters and different Muslims starve away in Gaza by no means leaves my thoughts. It engrosses me.

Starvation is a world downside however there’s a distinction between starvation attributable to monetary incapability and one compelled on you. Ramadan is supposed to be a month of bounty and soul nourishment – spiritually or nutrient-wise – however there are kids in Gaza who, as Zaina reiterates, won’t ever get to have a childhood reminiscence of Ramadan. Their dad and mom won’t ever have the prospect to create the reminiscences for them. Once I was younger, my mom used to get pleasure from cooking extra throughout Ramadan as a result of that was the one time she acquired to look at her youngsters – all gathered round – eat. Final week, she referred to as to ask if I’d want something from her for Ramadan and I informed her I might be tremendous. She stated, “Koburu,” and there was a tinge of bitterness and longing in her voice. I do know she misses her Ramadan routine and she or he’s feeling lonelier. Most of her youngsters have left house; my brothers and I dwell in varied locations, distant from her. The final time she noticed us collectively was after we misplaced considered one of our sisters to little one labour.

However I don’t discover myself fascinated by my mom’s loneliness throughout Ramadan. I quite now spend many hours scrolling by way of Al Jazeera’s Instagram web page, watching the movies of horror in Gaza as youngsters, moms and dads battle to outlive. Ramadan is supposed to be a month that dissipates your fears and worries, a month the place one’s life tragedy might be prevented. However households in Gaza are being bombed, and plenty of connections are shattered. At the least 31,819 individuals have been killed and 73,934 wounded by assaults in Gaza since October 7, in line with the most recent figures shared by the Well being Ministry. The assertion added that 93 individuals had been killed and 142 wounded previously 24 hours together with youngsters, in line with Al Jazeera’s dwell broadcast.

In hospitals, hunger is drying up moms’ breasts and infants, harmless souls are bearing the brunt of a struggle they didn’t begin. I learn experiences of Palestinians making ready for Ramadan and imagined them praying to God to make use of the holy month to finish their distress, as an alternative of praying for the blessings of the world and hereafter, like different Muslims world wide.

My consuming habits grew to become worse on this holy month. On the third day of Ramadan, like as we speak, I drank simply water for sahur. For its iftar, I took a less-sugared custard. It isn’t my incapacity to prepare dinner or eat higher, however how does one eat properly when someplace, people who find themselves meant to expertise the identical pleasure and pleasure of the month, expertise distress? What sort of Ramadan reminiscence would the youngsters have? When will this finish?

 

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Featured Picture by Askar Abayev for Pexels

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