Friday, July 13, 2012

Spiritual Friday: Decorating for Ramadan

Happy Friday everyone!! Ramadan is seriously less than a week away and I'm very VERY excited! It's not so much the starvation I'm excited about, but the empowerment of the whole experience. I mean lets be honest, fasting, though not impossible, is hard. The gratification, however, one has after completing 30 days of not eating, restraining from bad behavior, and truly enhancing ones relationship with the Almighty, is priceless. That is precisely what I am excited about. My spirit needs a bootcamp and Ramadan is like going to a spiritual gym. When it's over I feel totally refreshed, having shed much of my impurities and strengthened my spiritual muscles, and ready to conquer any temptation that might face me. How's that for some interesting analogies? ;o) For those of you not aware of what Ramadan is you can find out more here.

One of my favorite aspects of Ramadan is the endless decorating options. Ramadan does not associate with any fictional characters, seasons of the year, particular colors or any other themes of such sort. As a matter of fact, Muslims follow the lunar calendar which is 11 days shorter than the gregorian calendar. So we get to experience Ramadan with every single season of the year; rain or shine, hot or cold. As long as the decorations do not compromise the oneness of God, or contradict or disobey any of the Islamic beliefs and rulings, decorating choices are limitless.

One common symbol associated with the ninth Islamic month of Ramadan is the crescent moon. That is because we follow the lunar calendar, and a new moon means a new month. So often you will find crescent moons used for decor, not because we worship the moon, because we DON'T, but because the crescent is what we look for to determine the first day of Ramadan.

So I thought it would be really cute to DIY some clay ornaments of Crescents and stars. Since I've never done this before and my kids are representatives and ambassadors of the impatient society, I decided to make a few while they were sleeping. The goal: 1: see if Z3's (the baby) toys will work to cut out shapes, 2: how long it will take and will it be easy for my kids to do, 3: hopefully, my pieces will dry by morning so if my kids get impatient (I'm sure they will) cutting out the shapes, they can go straight to painting the ones I made.

Supplies: One package of fimo air drying modeling clay, one stencil (blue circle) 
and moon/star shaped toy's and xacto knife. Toothpick for making holes. (not shown) clay purchased
in UAE at my local Carrefour, all other supplies from the USA

Placed my clay on a tray

Padded it with my hand..

...found the rolling pin was easier to smooth evenly.

Cut out some shapes...

Pressed the shapes into clay.

Used xacto knife to cut it out.

Fixed the edges a bit.

Repeated the steps.

Pattern on my tray left a nice imprint on the star and moon shapes.

Used a toothpick to make a whole before it dries to string some thread through later. 

Part two of this project can be found here, but in the meantime I've rounded up some great ideas I found throughout the web.

I was fortunate to find some one back in Cali who makes these illuminated crescents and was able to buy one. I used it as my main Ramadan decoration and hung it in my bay window in the kitchen. Everyday at iftar (breaking fast time) my kids would take turns lighting it up. They were so excited about it and it made Ramadan extra special for them. I can't find a pic of it currently, but if I do I'll update this post.

Foil crescent moons Love the bling and super easy

How cute is that Masjid!?! Don't have tissue paper? Stop by the 99 cent store.

A banner like this is definitely on my 'to do' list.

Adorable! Seriously, this would be awesome in the kids bedroom doorway.
My kids would love walking through this everyday. Also on my list inshallah!

Top three images via

This would be a beautiful sight to see during iftar, though realistically if you don't prep this before Ramadan, I doubt any of us would have the energy to pull off this look while we are fasting. I'm just being real haha!

You can find those star pendants at Home Goods and maybe even Ross and spray them color of choice. Haven't seen those (yet) in the UAE, but I'm sure if I look hard enough...

Very easy peasy lemon.. starzy to make. Maybe a tutorial? I'll try my best. 

 Images also via

There are so many great ideas out in blogland for Ramadan home decor and kid crafts too! Good Tree Montessori rounded up 30 kid activities for Ramadan that were out of this world. 

My Top Five Fav's:
1. Make/decorate a sadaqa jar. Teach your kids the value of giving.
2. Pillow case prayer rug. Oh the possibilities! Fabric paint, fabric markers, puffy paints. ;oO can't wait!
3. Learn about Ramadan and Eid around the world. Apparently, not everyone decorates with lanterns :o/ or makes kahk (powdered sugar cookies yum!)

4. Ramadan Mosaic Sun Catcher

5. Memorize the duaa for the breaking of the fast. I'm a visual learner so I would actually try to have my older son write it out in Arabic on a pretty card stock, maybe frame it and hang it in the dining room. Not just Ramadan decor, but year round decor as well. 

You must check out that sister's blog, Good Tree Montessori, it's inspiring to say the least. Don't forget to check the other blogs as well. I can't stress enough the importance of involving your kids and each other as adults in decorating for Ramadan. While it's not obligatory, it certainly isn't a sin and it definitely makes the holiday just that much more special! I think I've shared enough for now. I know once Ramadan starts it will not be so easy to do all these projects, so I myself will try to get the most done this week and post early, and I also encourage you to get an early start and from now, work with your kids on some of these ideas. Even if you don't have kids, don't let that be an excuse to not take part in the festivities of decorating your home for Ramadan! Inshallah I'll post the results of my ornaments tomorrow. Thanks SOOOOO much for stopping by! Please don't forget to comment. 


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