Safiyya was in the middle of making her bed when her phone rang. It was her friend Hamra calling.
After she picked, she was greeted with Hamra’s chirpy voice yelling, “Amaryaaaa!”
Safiyya laughed and replied, “Hamra you’ll never change. How are you?”
“I’m good o, ya preparations for Ramadan? Hope you are ready to go all out, as per the first Ramadan in Habibi’s house!”
“Ahn Ahn.” Safiyya chuckled, “Which one is that one? Abeg o.”
“Please don’t tell me za a barki a baya? This is the time to step up your game o. Kill him with dishes. All those chicken escalopes, su naan bread, you know now, all your mede-mede food.”
At this point Safiyya was about to die of laughter, “Hamra doesn’t kill me, please. Where do you get all these ideas from?”
“Ahap. Stay there and be dulling. Better shine your eyes.”
Just then Safiyya heard her husband’s voice from the sitting room and she said, “I’ll call you back Hamra, Salim is back.”
“Ah toh amarya, go and attend to your husband, we’ll talk later.”
Later at night, Safiyya could not stop thinking about what her friend said; she needed to go all out.
She started by writing down all the plans she had and the meals she would make but her biggest goal was completing the Qur’an in the holy month.
At the end of the night, she had everything mapped out and she could not wait for Ramadan to start.
It is now the 10th day of Ramadan and the number of dishes that were waiting for Safiyya in the sink had triggered the tears in her eyes.
She sat on one of the kitchen stools and let the tears flow.
“Babe?” Salim peeped into the kitchen but stopped dead in his tracks when he noticed she was crying.
“What’s wrong?” he asked rushing to her side.
Safiyya shook her head.
“Then why are you crying? What happened?”
“I’m just tired and stressed out and then look at all the dishes I have to do, I’m sure I would not be able to make it in time for Taraweeh and this is the fifth one I am missing and before you know it, it’ll be time for sahoor and I’ll be too tired to say my night prayers and I’m just exhausted.”
Salim let out a sigh and held her hand, “This is because you are taking in too much at a time. You know you do not have to cook like seven meals yeah?”
Safiyya raised her head in shock, “But I thought you wanted…”
“It does not matter, even if it’s a cup of water from you, it’s perfect. You really should not stress yourself going all out with so many meals. It’ll give you less time for ibadah and anytime you feel tired or like you are missing out on valuable time for ibadah, remember that feeding a fasting person has great rewards and there’s nothing I appreciate more than your strength and commitment and the sacrifices you make just to put a smile on my face; trust me, there is no greater reward than that.”
When she remembered his face at every iftar and sahoor, it was enough to clear away all the tiredness she was feeling and then she realized, the reward she was getting was all that mattered and there was no bigger and better sacrifice than this.
So she smiled.
“Now that’s more like it.” Salim said, “Come on, let’s do these dishes.”