Iftar is one of the things Muslims look forward to during Ramadan. Not only because it is a time when they break their fast and eat good food, but also because for most Muslims it is a time spent with friends and family, bonding and create memories. I spoke to some of our Muslim brothers and sisters about their favorite iftar memories. And yes, a lot of memories were around food. Are you surprised?
“We didn’t care who could wrap me or not”
— Rukayat, 25
My favorite iftar memory is from when I was in elementary school. My brother, my grandmother, my mother, my father and I all broke our fast as a family. We made food, listened to Koranic lectures and joked that the day’s fast seemed to be longer than the day before. I remember the food being prepared, everyone trying to pitch in on the job, the laughs over who could wrap me up or not, and my brother running around. It was the best. I don’t really remember the dates. But I always remember how I feel in situations, and in those moments I always felt peace and contentment. My favorite Iftar dishes back then were pap, akara, ojojo, tapioca, and those fried eggs my mom made with corned beef. It was amazing.
“Having Iftar with a full family at the table is one of the best things ever”
— Fatia, 18 years old
One of the most special iftars I had was during lockdown. It was the first iftar of the month, and also the first time I ate rice with curry sauce. Two of my favorite dishes from this particular iftar were bread, eggs, and Maryland chicken, the most delicious chicken wrapped in eggs and breadcrumbs or cookies. I was having Iftar with my family of nine, so you can imagine how loud it was and how loud our laughs were. Having an Iftar with a full family at the table is one of the best things ever. The lockdown really brought us together as a family.
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“I couldn’t sleep properly that night because of the amount of food I ate.”
When I was younger it was customary to break our fast with fruit and water and then proceed to ogi and me-me before the main course of the night (which was after the nightly prayers ). I used to fast because night parties were prizes for me after a hard day of fasting.
That day, after school, my cousins, siblings and I held mini Olympics in the compound, which left us pretty exhausted. When it was time to break the fast, the main meal was rice and elite curry sauce. After eating the first two dishes, I prayed and then wolfed down the last meal. I was given two pieces of chicken that day, and if you were raised in a typical Nigerian home, you’ll know that it’s when you start shopping that you can join the league of double protein eaters . I couldn’t sleep properly that night because of the amount of food I ate.
“I remember we were playing video games all night”
— Mariam, 25
Once, I spent all of Ramadan with my cousins. It was such a good time. I remember we played video games all night until Sahur time. We ate Sahur and after that slept most of the day. If we woke up at 4 p.m., we would force ourselves to go back to sleep until 7 p.m., iftar time. Then we ate and played games again, and so the cycle continued.
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“We had fireworks at some point in the night.”
— Debo, 25
When I was about seven or eight years old. The last day of Ramadan fell on my grandfather’s 86th birthday and my family traveled to Ibadan to celebrate with him and celebrate iftar together. My grandfather had fourteen children, so you can imagine how many there were if you included all the grandchildren. A lot of us grandkids were around the same age group, and I remember wearing the same outfits, running around the huge house and playing tag. We ate in the garden, in the open air. We also had people coming to sing and we had fireworks at some point in the night. It was so magical.
“The spread of food was on another level. “
— Zainab, 27
When I was nine or ten, I went to visit my grandmother. In my parents’ house, everyone picked up their food and disappeared into their different rooms. But in my grandmother’s house, the extended family ate together – my uncles, aunts, siblings and cousins, everyone. We all talked and laughed and had a great time. The food was on another level. We had so much and even had dessert which was not the norm. It was such a special night. My grandmother died the following year; May God rest his soul in peace.
“They gave us ₦1,000 each”
— Raheema, 2 years old2
My favorite Iftar memory was from 2015 or 2016, I can’t remember the specific year exactly. My siblings and I were to visit my uncle for iftar and I loved the anticipation of having iftar at his house. I bonded with my cousins while cooking and the food was really great. My uncle gave us 1,000 tickets each – a lot of money at the time.
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