Rhythm, Rituals and Routine – the Making of Traditions

  
  
  

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!

4 thoughts on “Rhythm, Rituals and Routine – the Making of Traditions

  1. Liebe Itto,
    jetzt da ich auch Mama bin, habe ich auch das starke Bedürfnis, meinem Kind die Rituale zu schenke, die ich auch genießen durfte und in guter Erinnerung habe.
    Obwohl es wahrscheinlich noch zu früh ist, werden wir einen Adventskalender basteln, Weihnachtskekse backen und an Nikolaus singen und einen Stiefel für ihn füllen und vor die Tür stellen.
    Ich genieße diese Reise in meine Kindheit sehr.
    Wir essen immer zusammen und putzen morgens zusammen die Zähne (Junis besteht darauf) und abends bringt er immer erst seine Bagger ins Bett bevor er selbst ins Bett möchte.
    Ich merke, wie wichtig tägliche Rituale für ihn sind, wie sie ihm Kraft und Kontrolle geben und für eine Struktur im Alltag sorgen.

    Es ist doch schön, zu merken, wie sehr man reift und vom rastlosen Teenager zum Erwachsenen wird, der sich gern an Rituale hält und diese auf weitergibt. Immer wenn ein Ritual verletzt wird, z. B. das Laternelaufen an St. Martin und nur an St. Martin, merkt man, wie wichtig das für einen selbst ist. Hier im evangelischen Norden laufen sie den ganzen Herbst durch Laterne, das kenne ich so nicht und werde ich auch nicht machen… albern denkt man, aber das ist ein kleines Stückchen Identität, das man nicht aufgeben will.

    Liebste Grüße
    Steffi

  2. Ma très chère Itto,

    je sens aussi cette importance des traditions, des rituels dans ma famille.
    Personnellement, je suis très loin physiquement et avec mon coeur de mes parents mais j’ai des souvenirs très forts de rituels familiaux, notamment autour de la nourriture. Instinctivement, je les reproduit avec ma fille comme pour garder le meilleur de mon enfance… mais progressivement, de nouvelles traditions de nouveaux rituels se mettent en place et rythme la journée de la famille. comme une identité familiale qui se construit progressivement chaque jour.
    La fin de l’année est spéciale pour nous car nous retrouvons souvent nos amis dans cette période et aussi parce que nos anniversaires sont aussi en fin d’année et sont l’occasion de partager ensemble des preuves d’affections et d’amour.
    Notre petite puce de 2 ans souhaite toujours un bon appetit en début de repas et c’est un rituel qui n’existait pas dans ma famille lorsque j’étais petite ainsi que de remercier la personne qui a cuisiné pour les autres…
    Un rituel personnel est de venir sur ton site et de profiter de la noblesse, de la chaleur et de l’intelligence de tes propos.
    Merci Itto et bonne préparation pour la fête de ‘Id el kebir.
    Cécile, fidèle

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