Stocking up in Ramadan

Date photo

It’s almost upon us, that serene and blissful time of year… the month of Ramadan is just a few days away.

A public service announcement first – remember to check where your dates come from – be wary of eating kajoor coming from Israeli date farms, who sneakily use deceptive words to hide the origin of their products – I received a watsapp message warning me of dates with the label “Product of the West Bank” – this can be misleading, because the dates either come from Palestinians or Israelis.

That watsapp message urges us to look further, to check whether dates are packaged on illegal date farms in Israel in the Jordan Valley, where Palestinians are made to work under terrible conditions.  I wish it were easy to support Palestinian goods, but we have to ensure that Israelis aren’t selling us stuff under false pretenses, hoping to make us think we are supporting Palestinians when in fact Israel is profiting. Maybe buy local, or from a Muslim.

The whole BDS thing is complicated, who knows where things come from, who gets harmed in the process and who benefits? And while we may boycott one brand or one store, others may be lurking, and we have no idea that they are also supporting Israel. I guess we have to do the best that we can with the knowledge that we have.

Apart from du’a, I’ll try to avoid as many Israel-benefiting stores as I can…I just wish I knew where to buy good thermal underwear 😦

Anyways, we’re supposed to be ready, stocking up our freezers and getting stuff organised so that we can survive the month. But apart from food, and the ironic overeating that happens in a month meant for abstinence, we should also have been stocking up our spiritual bank accounts and flexing those religious muscles, building them up for this cool month.

From Rajab, our attempts to better ourselves should be amped up, getting us ready to sprint through Ramadan with ease. For those of us who have been lax, and who are wondering where the time has gone…for those of us in a mad dash to make those first few samoosas…fear not – if we haven’t made the most of the time leading up to Ramadan, we can at least commit ourselves to making the most of the month when it comes.

After all, Ramadan is the season to stockpile your religious freezer, filling up on all things blessed, creating good habits to see us through the rest of the year. While we empty our freezers of food during the month, let’s try to fill our insides with goodness to keep us full for the whole year.