These days before ‘Id el kebir (the Muslim’s most important feast during the year), we are in preparations and in a lot of making and baking, just as last year.
In these days I am always remembering my own childhood and how dear especially Christmas and its entire atmosphere were to me – I still love to remember the lights and smells, the peace, the excitement of getting gifts and being all together.
Now as a Muslim, I do neither celebrate Christmas anymore (although I still believe in Jesus as a prophet and as one of the very important messengers in Islam), nor birthdays or Easter.
As a convert/revert, I find myself in kind of an explorer-position conquering new lands in establishing personal family traditions. I am having only a few experiences of Muslim’s feast- and everyday-traditions and am free now to build up our own rituals for my little family by following the Prophetic Sunnah as well as by creating personal ones.
I remember, when I had my first child I wanted to have right away family-rituals. I always wanted to gift my kids with memories of smells and tastes, decorations and lights, poems and songs and warm comfortable feelings.
But soon I had to realize that these rituals do not come by themselves, they are things we have to make growing and then they grow with the age and the number of our children.
It is up to us as the parents to make an effort to establish such rhythms, rituals and routines in their best meaning and I believe that this is something very important for every family – I mean rituals in general, not only the celebration ones.
I think it is so important to strengthen our family connections, to nurture the souls of our kids and their sense of security and togetherness by establishing traditions.
It is so important to give them the feeling of a rhythm and a home, just as nature and everything within follows a rhythm and a routine.
And alhamdulillah, there are so many moments to build such rhythms on a daily, seasonal, occasional and festivity basis: just think about the ritual of a good-morning-hug, daily teeth-brushing-sessions, story time before saying good-night, the Friday’s-Couscous at grandpa’s house, tea-time in the afternoon, singing a protection surate when being frightened, the yearly Ramadan calendar, mealtime blessings, lights and candle-decoration in winter, a healing-song when someone is hurt, strawberry marmalade in spring, the sweet cake and family-BBQ on ‘Id’s day, … I am sure you could continue this list with your personal unique family-traditions…
To introduce new rituals sometimes feel a bit artificial or swollen to us as parents, especially when we are trying something new we didn’t experience in our own childhood. We may have to dedicate some time to think about what we want offer our kids, what traditions we want to build and what we are ready to follow continuously.
But if we believe in something, if we stick to a rhythm or tradition, if we are ready to discipline ourselves a bit and to let become something a ritual or routine, we surely will be blessed with a peaceful, homey atmosphere, with a community-feeling and much stronger connections between our family’s members.
It needs time, but one day, I am sure that for our kids such things will simply seem natural and become second natures and treasured childhood memories they will carry through their lives, inchaallah.
So we are, by following our daily rhythms and routines, into our yearly ‘Id-crafting- and baking-time, which I would now, in the forth year, call a tradition … and I am sure new rituals and traditions will follow… subhanallah, I am excited!
What are your personal family traditions?
Blessed week, friends!