The Month of Ramadan is such an odd and unique month for Muslims. We turn nocturnal, recite the Quran like it’s going outta style, and spend copious amounts of time with our friends and family. And while all of us celebrate the month differently, certain experiences and hang out sessions are more universal than others. These are some “dates” that all of us have enjoyed with our loved ones during the Month of Ramadan.
1. I’m Hungry, You’re Hungry Date
Yeah you know exactly what we’re talking about here. It’s the middle of the night, you’re itching for the perfect mozzarella stick and you don’t care where you get it. You call up someone you’ve known for forever – yeah the person whose name just popped into your head and made you chuckle – and pick them up for some 3AM burgers and fries. Food, fun, and zero expectation of commitment – this is our favorite date for the month of Ramadan.
2. Old Married Couple Date
Alright y’all have been married long enough to still love each others’ drool covered faces in the morning and you can be open and honest with each other. So, yeah, it’s been a tough fast and putting on even just an abaya sounds like way too much effort. Order pizza, stay in your pajamas, and enjoy your night of binging on Ahlulbayt TV (#QuestionOfDeen is the best show on TV and their hosts are always way too much fun). Skipping a delicious, nutritious, mosque cooked meal that was probably blessed by Angel Jibrael himself for vegetarian pizza is the real meaning of true love.
3. Kids Night Out Date
It’s been two weeks of your picky eaters eating plain mosque rice, Goldfish, and Cheerios and you decide your family deserves a treat. The big nights of Qadr are coming up and the little one has 14 coloring worksheets to prove their accomplishments in the children’s classes so you figure one night off won’t bother anyone. You pack 4 types of snacks, just in case, and take your family to the only halal buffet in town. But it’s the month of Ramadan so you arrive 20 minutes early and have to entertain your children till iftaar time. Plus, without the children’s session, you have no free hands or time to feed yourself. At the end of the night you go home tired, hungry, and thanking the Almighty that you live near your Islamic Center.
4. Strange and Arranged Date
So you’ve been casually chatting with someone your parents found and you finally get to meet in person during the Month of Ramadan. This is either the absolute best or worst thing ever. You two might be too busy stuffing your faces to have any real conversation, but seeing someone covered in steak sauce without a care in the world is an intimate experience to say the least. This date goes south when either party decides to put up the façade that, despite a day with no food or water, they would simple like a Caesar Salad. On what planet does that make sense? Check please. And of course you’re bound to run into at least 3 people from mosque at the only halal restaurant in town. So enjoy the awkward glances and hushed whispers for the rest of the month – especially if it doesn’t work out.
5. Dinner and a Movie Date
Hollywood knows exactly when our holy month is and still they deliberately release the coolest movies in our 30 days off. So maybe it’s you or your bro or your cousin or that random girl you only hug at the mosque – whoever it is, someone suggests a movie night after mosque and it’s too good to pass up. So you all head to the theaters despite the impending post-iftaar food coma and buy tickets to see cars blow up and the statue of liberty crumble (seriously why does this happen in every movie). But halfway through you realize you’ve still got over half of your chapter of Qur’an to finish and you probably won’t make it to Tarawih and Satan is locked up SO THIS IS ALL YOU. THAT’S RIGHT. YOU DIDN’T CLOSE YOUR EYES DURING THE BRIEF KISSING SCENE AND YOU CAN’T EVEN BLAME THE DEVIL. This is the worst kind of date ever – it leaves you feeling guilty and unsatisfied. Ugh.
6. Group Date
This is the most common and relaxed of the date varieties. Anyone with a car just magically shows up at the local hookah place right after mosque and stays there for 3 hours minimum. If you weren’t a smoker before, you take it up just for this month so you don’t miss out on the ridiculous stories and endless laughter. But kids just remember that smoking can cause lung cancer, gum disease, and death. So hook-ah brother up with some nicotine gum and start meeting up for FroYo instead!
Whichever kind of date you’re on just remember to enjoy the experience – this month is beautiful and rewarding but ephemeral. The late night snacks, droopy-eyed prayers, and friend filled dinners end before you can say Alhamdulillah. I guess it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.