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A Ramadan Made Beautiful – How HH's Yasminah Ketchman Cultivates Joy and Prayer
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Posted on Apr 27, 2020
Yasminah Ketchman

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Editor's note: All this month, Haute Hijab team members are bringing you our Ramadan Diaries, posts about how our month is going, things we've learned and struggles we may be having. We are figuring out fasting and worship at home, strengthening our connection with Allah (S) and how to build community while in quarantine, just like all of you! 

Yasminah Ketchman

This Ramadan is my first away from home. In early March, I moved from Michigan to New York to begin my role as social media specialist with Haute Hijab. I had plans to enjoy iftars with my family in New Jersey, nights praying tarawih at my new local NYC masjid, and perhaps even attending all night qiyams with the new friends I would make from the office or from my new neighborhood Muslim community.

Then COVID-19 hit.

I quickly took refuge with my brother and his wife and three children in New Jersey, where I began the quarantined, work-from-home life that many of you have also had to do. The question we were all wondering was, “What would Ramadan look like this year?”

I have always had a love for decorating for holidays, especially Ramadan. There’s something about that special touch that excites me and makes me feel ready to celebrate and enjoy the season with good cheer. Alhamdulillah, we know Allah (S) loves beautiful things, so why not make the blessed month of Ramadan a reason to beautify our home, especially since our homes are where we pretty much all are this month! Our homes are where our little ones will be experiencing Ramadan 2020! This is our space to add to the festive and special feeling of the fasting month!

Like the world in general, Muslims are not a monolith, and thus not everyone is into decorating their homes for Ramadan. But for me, it’s a way to make things that much more special, not only for the kiddos who are around me but for myself! In years past, I lived with family and on my own. Outside of my immediate family – my parents, my siblings and their growing families – my extended family is Christian. We grew up with the traditions of food, decorations and other rituals that all added to that holiday feeling.

So for me, all that helps me enjoy the whole month of Ramadan. To lean into the festiveness of Ramadan brings me so much happiness and helps create that environment that makes me want to do even more ibadat (worship) and prayer while making it feel more joyful and meaningful.

The moment we pulled out the box of decorations, I began feeling the happiness of Ramadan coming – a taste of the sweetness of iman that only Ramadan brings. As I untangled the lights, new plans emerged, and I realized that I am excited and looking forward to this new kind of Ramadan, whatever it may bring.

Ramadan Kareem

Together, my family and I spent an afternoon transforming the house into a space that embodies a beautiful Ramadan feeling. We:

1. Hung string lights across window sills and banisters.

2. Designed a streamer pattern surrounding the chandelier in the dining room.

3. Filled our Ramadan advent mosque with daily goodies for my nieces.

4. Printed out these Ramadan decor printables, framed them and placed them around the house.

5. Made homemade signs and drawings and placed in various rooms throughout the house.

Now, when I look around the house, Ramadan is everywhere. When I am praying tarawih with the twinkling lights behind me or having iftar under beautifully designed streamers, it feels like the beautiful Ramadan season it is meant to be – a season of joy and happiness where Allah’s love is showered on us in the form of mercy, forgiveness and protection.

Missing out on the beautiful communal activities that we are all so used to is tough, no doubt. But, having our home beautifully decorated for Ramadan is one way that I could make it a little bit easier for myself and my family. May Allah bless you and your family this Ramadan!

Love, Yasminah


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