By Mumtaz Saley
Suhoor the ultimate battle.
Waking up means facing the cold but as I’m about to moan I stop and remind myself of my promise to walk down the road of betterment, toward change to be a better Muslimah.
With the first fast done and dusted, I must admit the second suhoor isn’t as bad as the first. I get out of bed and recite bismillah, before making my way to the bathroom and then the kitchen. I hear little footsteps, as I lift my head from the steaming pot, I see my little daughter rubbing her eyes asking me why didn’t wake her. I smile and tell her to take her seat at the table as the porridge is just about ready.
I wake my 9-year-old son Mohammed who is trying his utmost to keep all of his fasts. He happily takes his seat while my husband helps set the table. I stop for a moment as I listen to the recital of the dua prior to eating. A simple act of worship we adults take for granted and one which the kids do religiously no matter where they are.
As we begin to eat Mohammed looks at me; “Mummy there no dates on the table.” I smile and go to fetch some. “Mummy you know breaking your fast with dates is a sunnah and if you don’t have dates you can break with water.” I nod and smile at him as my heart melts. As soon as he is done eating his dates he jumps up and goes to make wudu and brush his teeth. His sister Amina naturally follows his every move.
My husband and I smile at each other knowing that our children have learnt their lessons well and are excited to be part of the holy month and I make dua they always remain steadfast.
We pray fajr as a family after which we all get ready for the day ahead. I choose this time to sit with Amina on my lap to recite my Qur'an. Mohammed heads to school while Ahmed leaves for work. As they walk out the door I yell after them inquiring about what would they like for iftaar?
“My love whatever you can manage is fine, don’t go out of your way as you are also fasting;” Ahmed replies. I smile at him and greet them both.
As the day progresses I find that I have much more time than I realised as I spend less time on social media, learning that not every text that comes to my phone needs to be seen immediately. My lesson for the day and a small jihad I must fight to gain greater reward than the satisfaction of getting "likes" and the latest gossip.
The pause is to reflect that I should never make time an excuse. Allah has provided us with more than enough time in each day to honour Him with dua and dhikr whilst we perform tasks like cooking or driving. All we need do is make the time by prioritising. Small deeds made consistently are rewarded greatly.