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Fasting Day 1 - August 22nd '09
(this is an extract from my Ramadan Journals on Muslims In England.com )

You would think preparing for ramadan would be simple, practical and somewhat enjoyable. Think again. Not only was I traumatised by 'pre-ramadan-and-eid' shopping, I faced the macho challenges of "I bet I can finish three whole Qur'an readings in ramadan, much more than you". Nice ramadan spirit, really nice.

The evening of ramadan began with a national search for the Moon. It was hilariously epic. Where was it? Why was it playing hide and seek? More questions online arose 'who's fasting tonight? Who should be follow? What does the higher authority in Morocco and Saudi Arabia say?' ARGH! I took it upon myself to climb the nearest hill, take photographic evidence of that mischievous hilal (new crescent moon) and publish it everywhere. To no avail however as it was too cold and I had a scientific Lunar Phase Calendar handy to figure out the science behind the waxing and waning moon. I managed to write a nifty silly moon poem though.

More double checks with various masajid ensued then bingo! Ramadan arrived in a sweet parcel of dates and glitter. Alhamdulillah.

So here begins our daily journal of my little experiences and learning curves each day insha'Allah of Ramadan 2009. I add a sincere dua' that we all live through it by the Grace of Allah who, in His infinite wisdom, took so many brothers and sisters back to Him, before ramadan even began.

A quick checklist in my ramadan planner, let's see...

1) Niyah ✔ (intention of fasting)
2) Tarawih (specific Muslim prayers for ramadan) done. ✔
3) Suhoor (breakfast from sunrise to begin the fast) ✔
4) Fajr salah (morning prayer) ✔
5) Daily dhikr commenced ✔
6) Quran reading ✔ [luckily I have the Quran on both CD and computer making it easier to increase the reading pace or listen to quietly].
7) Sadaqah (charity) ✕ Unfortunately, this early on in the morning means my only means of 'giving' is online. I update my Facebook status hoping for a needy loon that I can donate a smile to. A brother Aaqib came as victim! Alright, give the man a dua, wish him well, smile, ask about his non-existing-wife, make another dua, done! Yes, I know, cheap-shot but I was going for gold...

As an after-thought I muse... Day 1 is officially over of "Ramadamming". There are only 29 to go, not many at all in comparison to the whole year. They'll all be gone far to soon but I hope insha'allah they are successful, inspiring, full of Ramadan Tingles and ehsan (high faith).

Zaufishan, reporting from a treetop and covered in grass and smiles.
Peace ★
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