Links in June/Ramadan

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Just a quick note, for plenty of people have asked, “do my children fast?” … Ramadan is a big deal for Muslims, and whenever I have fasted when the children were little they have always, always, always LOVED iftar time – when we pray the sunset prayer and can eat and drink for the first time all day. The youngest especially has always just loved it when Ramadan begins and used to run around the house squealing with excitement when I would confirm, ‘Ramadan TOMORROW’. I think he senses the camaraderie that Muslims feel this time of year, but he most certainly loves breaking fast around one table as we quietly eat good food masha’allah.

When the boys were little they always wanted to fast and I would appease them with allowing them to fast half days (allowing as much water as they needed), then as they got older and wanted to fast ‘properly’ I would allow them to fast half days with NO drink (much more grown up). By the time the eldest was almost teen he would refuse to eat after sunrise and demand to do it properly, which he handled very well. Right now the youngest has progressed from half days with drinking privileges to half days doing it ‘properly’ … because he wants to. Because iftar is so much sweeter when you’ve earned it.

Now the eldest is 14, and has reached puberty he is considered old enough to fast as an adult, which he does without complaint masha’allah. It will be the blink of an eye before the youngest joins him, but he’s already complaining that we all get to fast properly whilst he has to do HALF A DAY! And HOW UNFAIR THAT IS! So I have told him that if he wants he can do a whole fast the day before Eid and he is pumping his fist in the air with triumph.

All this to say: whilst fasting might seem like an unbearable hardship to you, to us it is a real time of closeness and celebration which my children have thoroughly embraced without coercion. Indeed, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” as the Qur’an states (2:256). So, yes, my children fast – the eldest because he has come of age, and the youngest because he wants to do what he can. But please do not think they are sitting rocking back and forth in a corner wailing with hunger – we’re fine; really. We’re having a sweet, mellow time and it’s a genuine pleasure and blessing to have older children fasting with me…

Moving on, because I haven’t posted any links for a long time I thought I’d share some eye candy for June. I am adding to my blog roll list in the sidebar, and they are in no particular order. I am finding instagram is becoming more inspirational to me these days, so this link love is all about instegram feeds that I check on a regular basis:

:: Celia Hart an artist from the UK makes lovely lino prints. I love peeking into her sketchbook.

:: This mother and daughter duo from Lithuania take purposefully crafted photographs of beautiful things. It might seem contrived, but ever so inspiring.

:: Stumbling across this feed has been a delight. I simply love peeking into her studio and seeing the beautiful embroidered book covers etc she brings into the world. In fact, it’s my favourite feed so far.

:: With this a close second – carefully curated shots of such pretty, crafty goodness.

:: A Cumbrian lass has made it onto this list – a shepherdess of Herdwicks, amongst others, who makes fine Cumbrian tweed and runs her own business. My type of gal.

And, finally…

:: Charlotte’s house and garden feed never fails to inspire me. She has worked magic on her garden since they first moved in and it’s a real pleasure to see the transformation. Go say ‘hi’.

Hope you find something to inspire you in all that!

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