Memories / Ramadhaan

Top 10 Fondest Ramadhaan Memories from my Childhood

As a child, Ramadhaan always came during the most pleasant of seasons. The soft winds carried a fruity essence wherever it went. I remember telling myself that Ramadhaan had to be near because the air smelled like fresh watermelon and cantaloupe. Oh, yes! Ramadhaan was near.

Top 10 Fondest Ramadhaan Memories from my Childhood

10. Breaking fast after a “Co-op” meeting, enjoying a cup of canned fruit cocktail mixed with raisins that only mother could make.

9. Laughing at my older brothers who’d beg us little ones to give them water without our father knowing while hanging upside down from the fire escape in the backyard.

8. Attending Friday prayers seeing all the happy Moslems while watching the congregation triple and quadruple with each passing week up until ‘Eid day.

7. Watching my mother sew ‘Eid outfits for us girls and impatiently waiting to try on my new pair of vividly colored Culottes complete with an elastic waist and pockets.

6. Praying Qiyaamul Layl and making I’tikaaf in the local masjid along with many, many other families. We’d lie awake in sleeping bags, talking and laughing all night (it was like summer camp sans the woods and wild animals for us kids).

5. Eating large, fresh, hot raisin biscuits for suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Praying Fajr with my family. Fasting half a day feeling like a big girl.

4. Listening to my father read the English translation of the Quraan for hours by myself. I wanted to get up and join my brothers and sisters (who left a long time ago), but I felt too shy to move. I was relieved when he told me that I could go play if I wanted to. I zoomed out of there (smiles).

3. Joining the caravan of ‘Eid day travelers. It was so beautiful seeing hundreds and hundreds of worshippers smiling at each other, kids playing and jumping around while waiting for the imaam to arrive at the masjid so that we could hit the road together as a community. As each car pulled out one by one, I remember the excitement and anticipation I felt when it was our turn to join the procession – woo hoo, fun times here we come.

I’d loved watching the men give each other hand signals – keeping one another well-informed while on the road. This ensured that no family was left behind. If someone, for whatever reason lagged or made a wrong turn, the brothers would always pull over and wait for them to catch up.

2. Arriving at our destination, seeing scores people from diverse backgrounds preparing for worship in a humongous, beautiful park. Prayer rugs, sheets and blankets were spread out as far as I could see. After ‘Eid prayer, the tweeners would go off to play Hot Pepper Double Dutch (one could not take part in the sport unless they could turn the rope or jump at lightening speed), Jacks, Hop Scotch, Kick Ball, Tag, Hide and Seek, Red Light/Green Light, Mother May I?, What Time is it Mr. Fox?, Monkey in the Middle and many other games.

The little ones played Duck Duck Goose!, rolled down grassy hills, or enjoyed other games and toys like race car sets and bubbles. And of course candy, loads and loads of candy.

The older boys played basketball, football, or shot “the dozens” (aka snaps or “burning on each other”). My brothers were the funniest.

The older girls were too busy being cute.

While the grills were a’ going… the red Kool Aide’s a chilling… the women a’ chatting… and the men shooting the breeze, not a non-Muslim would pass by without pausing to stare at such a wonderful site.

After eating, everyone – including the adults, would participate in competitions (three-legged races, volley ball, sack races and all). It was an all day event that everyone really, really enjoyed.

1. Proud to be a Muslimah. The month of Ramadhaan strengthened that. And even though back then we were upon an incorrect methodology and books calling to the Sunnah were scarce, I’ve always loved Islaam and had no problem telling people that I was a Muslimah and that I did not eat pork. Islaam was “in my heart.”

Despite my age, the concept of a man being taken as a deity did not make any sense. I used to wonder why people could not see that as it was as plain as day – after all, I’m a kid and I get it. {I later understood that Allaah guides whom He wills, and leads astray whom He wills.}There wasn’t a pork joke around that could shake that.

My father told my grandmother that he did not believe that Allaah (he said god) was a man and that he did not want to go to church anymore. He was seven years old at the time living deep in the south (all they had was the church and he left it). She simply said, “Okay,” and never urged him to return. My mother’s story is a bit longer; I’ll share it another time. Anyhow, my parents reverted in the 70’s during a time when the people were calling to and ready for “a change.”

We went through three stages; the teachings of Elijah Muhammad (he was a famous false prophet in America for those who don’t know). My father did not accept the tenets that Elijah and his followers were calling to. He mentioned that he left Christianity because he did not believe in worshipping men, so how could he accept the teachings of E-lie-jah??? Alhamdulillaah, I scarcely remember a thing from that period. We moved on to the teachings of Waarithud Deen Muhammad, then finally some of us were blessed by being guided to the Sunnah of Muhammad bin ‘Abdillaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) after being lost for so, so long. I ask Allaah to guide my family to the truth. May Allaah forgive us, rectify our affairs and make us firm upon the Straight Path, Allaahumma aameen.

I pray that Allaah accepts our fast and good deeds.

Umm Su’aad Haneefah

8 thoughts on “Top 10 Fondest Ramadhaan Memories from my Childhood

  1. Baraka Lahu fiki for sharing, maschaAllah I can emphasise with a lot of that, my parents also reverted in the 70’s and I have similar souvenirs, maschaAllah

  2. Stop it girl! You are me!!! If we look alike you are in trouble….lol Seriously,I had no idea that we had the same background. However, since my parents divourced when I was young I was simply raised Muslim by name. My father’s family were loyal to the Imaam and our families are close.I have many FB friends who are the grandchildren of Elijah (they are sunni). Small world.

    Inni ubihhuki fillah!

  3. Wa feeki baarakallaahu Umm Khadidja. :) I have many stories to tell.

    @ Umm Adam. Alhamdulillaah, his grandchildren are upon the Sunnah. And yes, I know exactly what it’s like to be a Muslim by name. Subhaanallaah Rabbiyal Aa’laa. Ahabbakilladhee ahbabtanee lah.

    Saladin, thank you.

  4. MashaAllah, that’s a great excerpt from your book of memories. I have always wished I had been raised Muslim in order to have a foundation of family traditions to share with my kids. Alhamdulilah we can begin our own. Jazakum Allah khair

  5. Aameen wa iyyaaki. Yes, you can start your own family traditions. You’re talented, I’m sure your children will enjoy themselves In Shaa Allaah.

    There are blessings in being raised Muslim, but look at it this way, you get double the reward for reverting.

    :)

  6. As Salaamu Alaikum…Nice to hear about the good ‘ol times(a little before my time though lol).Keep the stories coming inshallah

  7. Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. I feel old now. :) I’ll share more when I can In Shaa Allaah. Jazaakillaahu khairal jazaa.

    By the way…my father informed me that 75% of my relatives (on the paternal side) have accepted Islaam. Wa Lillaahil Hamd!

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