Ramadan for kids
July 20th sees the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is the time of year when Muslims fast during the daytime, to purify themselves, reflect, and worship.
by Steven McKinnon, Mindful Mum, July 16th 2012
Ramadan is the name of the ninth - and perhaps the most significant - month in the Islamic calendar. It is believed that the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book, was first revealed during this month.
This year, Ramadan begins on the 20th of July, and ends on the 18th of August.
Ramadan is a period of reflection and worship, which is why Muslims fast during the daylight hours, abstaining from from food, drink, and sexual intercourse.
Charity is an important part of Islam, especially during Ramadan, when those with savings must contribute money to the poor and needy (a practice known as Zakāt). A voluntary gesture, known as Sadaqa, may also be given.
One of the most popular ways to celebrate Ramadan is for families, and even communities, to come together during the Iftar, the evening meal that is eaten following a day of fasting.
Iftar traditionally begins by consuming dates then reciting the Maghrib prayer, which is followed by the main meal.
Laylat al-Qadr, the most holy night in the Islamic calendar, also takes place during Ramadan. It is believed that the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad on this night.
If you’re taking on cooking duties for Iftar, why not let your child help you? Since they will unlikely be able to keep up with the fasting, this will help give them a sense of accomplishment – especially if you use this sweet and sticky baklava recipe!
- 2.5 cups of walnuts
- 4 cups of sugar, plus another half cup
- 1 pound of butter
- 16 ounces of frozen filo dough
- 2 cups of water
- Half a teaspoon of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of rosewater
- pinch of cinnamon
- For the syrup, combine the 4 cups sugar with the lemon juice, water and rosewater in a medium saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
- For the dough and filling, combine the remaining half cup of sugar and walnuts in a bowl, and add the cinnamon. Preheat your oven to 300F/150C.
- Grease a 9 x 12 pan with butter, then unroll the filo dough and cut into 9 x 12 pieces.
- Place 2 sheets of the dough into the pan, then brush with butter. Repeat this until half of the dough has been used.
- Spread about 1 cup of the nut mixture over the top layer of the dough, then place another 2 sheets on top, again brushing with butter. Repeat this until the nut mixture has been used up.
- Cut into 3-inch squares, then cut each square into triangles. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. Pour syrup over top of baklava and allow to seep and saturate it well. Voila!
Photography: Rana Ossama @Flickr