30 Days of Ramadan, Day 2: A night to recharge and a breakfast at IHOP

By Michael Dorausch from Venice (Eggs and PancakesUploaded by Yjenith) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Houstonians are in for a treat this Ramadan – Islamic Society of Greater Houston masjids are hosting the revered Ramadan Recharge nights again this year – four nights at four different masjids after Taraweeh where everyone can listen to speakers hit various topics. Last year’s topics included the journey to heaven for a Muslim and the prophets of Islam.

Sounds like it’s just a few nights of extra lectures, right?

But it’s not; it’s so much more than that.

The Ramadan Recharge events draw in a huge crowd of Muslim youth and families, staying up all night after Taraweeh to gain reaffirmation and understanding in Islam. When the masjids are full with people who are volunteering their time to grow as individuals, together, a completely unique atmosphere is created. It could be labeled brotherhood, but that doesn’t quite hit it.

Honestly it’s difficult to explain. There is a sense of unity, community, and spiritual connection. That’s the gem of it: Muslim brothers and sisters sacrificing their sleep with such joy that really, it seems like most of everyone on those nights forget what sleep is.

And after staying up all night for the program, Salat-al-Qiyaam is usually prayed in jammah (collective congregation), before the morning meal is served (Suhoor).

Here is the other aspect of the Ramadan Recharge nights that is truly spectacular: yes, the masjids serve Suhoor; however, quite a few of the attendees decide that these special nights should have a unique Suhoor, and they make their way to IHOP.

IHOP.

Whichever IHOP is located nearby suddenly becomes populated by Muslim men and women, Muslim youth, and whole Muslim families. Hijabi women and men in kufis fill every corner with discussions about the program they just attended and their plans for the next day. This is an exclusive happening in Ramadan and not just a sight to see, but a sight to join.

Hats off to the IHOP staff as well. They are amazing. Waiters and waitresses run around taking orders while the chef in the back scurries to get all the orders filled with their specifications. They know that when the Muslims arrive they’re in a hurry because there is a limited time for Suhoor, right after Suhoor is Salat-al-Fajr, and after that there is no more consumption of food or water until Iftar time. So the staff at IHOP run around to get us fed and ready in time, and we appreciate them whole-heartedly for that. Thank you IHOP staff!

And after Fajr everyone goes about their way, waiting eagerly for the next Ramadan Recharge event. When the final event is over, it’s sad – but until then, we have four Ramadan Recharge events to look forward to.

Find more information about the Ramadan Recharge nights on Facebook.

The 30 Days of Ramadan series is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-TX Communications Intern. Enjoy more of her writing on her personal blog, Religion in the Melting Pot.

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