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Adding Some “Spice” to this Year’s Ramadan

As a White American in a very multicultural Muslim community, food is always a fun topic!

Many assume because of my background, I can’t handle spices – but nothing could be farther from the truth! With a mother who grew up in East Asia, a father who did the peace corps in Madras, India, and a childhood spent in Malaysia and Korea – I love flavor in my food!

(That’s one reason I adore Saffron Road, but I’ll save that for another blog post).

With mom & family visiting the Malaysian house I grew up in (I’m taking the photo)

We are entering the strangest Ramadan in my 19 years as a Muslim. No attending the mosque for night prayers, no large iftars (dinners) with the in-laws, no IHOP suhoors (pre-dawn meal) with my buddies.

This Ramadan, we – like just about the rest of the world – are locked in our homes.

That sounds about as exciting as a Thanksgiving dinner without seasoning the turkey and no sides – the horror!

Adding some “spice” to the year’s Ramadan

As an entrepreneur, I stereotypically have a “glass-half-full” mindset; I try to see the opportunity and goodness in every situation.

Admittedly though, this Ramadan will emotionally be a let down.

Unless we consciously work to make it special, to add “spices” to our Ramadan this year to enhance its flavors!

Here are a few suggestions – and please comment with your own! We’re all figuring this out together:

  1. Ramadan Space – Designate and decorate a dedicated spiritual space in your homes for prayers, Qur’an reading, etc.

    My LaunchGood co-founder Omar Hamid has his Ramadan corner ready
  2. Family/Friend Zoom-Iftars (Zoomtars?) with Fun Background – Zoom can be surprisingly fun! Add in some unique backgrounds and break fast with your family & friends, show off your food!

    Is this the year of the Zoomtar?
  3. Find your inspiration online – with physical spaces shut down, there’s a treasure of speakers coming online like never before! 2 of my favorite are Yaqeen Institute and Cambridge Muslim College
  4. Give back to those in need – Over 26 million Americans have now filed for unemployment because of COVID-19, and globally the impact is even greater as poorer countries lack the resources to provide real relief.

If you’re still in a position to give, it’s especially important to donate back from the wealth we were blessed with.

One fun – and trusted – way to do so is LaunchGood’s 2020 Ramadan Challenge! It helps you give in charity for all 30 days of Ramadan to exciting causes across the world. Plus there’s a new social-media element to it with a global dhikr counter, Quran stream, and more!

Would be honored to have you join us!

How do you plan to spice up your Ramadan?