Little Aquib managed to pull off the full fast with immense grace just like his two siblings and parents.
When seven-year-old Mohammed Aquib Aqeel insisted on fasting this Ramadan, his parents agreed with the hope of nurturing his nascent spirituality.
They were sure that like every year, he would not be able to complete the full fast as he was still very young.
However, to their utter surprise, little Aquib managed to pull off the fast with immense grace just like his two siblings and parents.
“What amazed us was how fasting brought about a complete change in our son’s overall behaviour. Usually he is very impatient, gets upset if there is slight delay in his meals, which is why we were constantly asking him if he wanted to eat something or he was hungry.
“But the patience and control he showed during his fast was beautiful. He simply looked at us (me and his worried mom) calmly and said, please do not talk about food to me as I am fasting. We are so proud of him and the poise he displayed by imbibing the true spirit of Ramadan and completing his fast gracefully,” said his father Aqeel Mumtaz, a Pakistani expat.
Displaying his best side, the Grade 1 student not only abstained from food and drink for over 14 hours on his first fast this year, but also decided not to indulge in any kind of sibling squabbles that he and his three brothers would otherwise have almost daily, his father said.
“I have long waited for this occasion, so I want to give it my best shot and behave my best to please Allah and my parents,” Aquib said shyly.
Aquib has imbibed the spirit of Ramadan not only by seeing his parents, grandparents and siblings fast, but also because his parents always celebrated the holy month in a big way and educated their kids on the importance of worship, connection with God and the rewards that the month of blessing brings.
Another important aspect that attracted Aquib towards fasting, was the elaborate iftar his mother makes throughout the holy month.
“Aquib is a sensitive child and he is also very fond of food and sherbets. I ensure that every Ramadan our Iftar table looks very colourful with a variety of food items that my kids love. One reason behind this was to encourage my children to fast and I am glad three of them are fasting now, the fourth one is only eleven months old. In fact Aquib would get upset when Ramadan would end and would ask me why I did not decorate the table at Iftar time like I used to during the holy month,” his mother Rubab said.
She added: “Aquib is very fond of potato fritters and Roohafza sherbet, so I ensure I make those in abundance apart from sandwiches, samosas etc.
“But I am so impressed with the composure he showed while fasting. He also helped me out with laying the table and making Iftar refreshments. And to top it all, he also made a beautiful paper basket and distributed dates to all his siblings and to us before ending his fast.
“Ramadan, indeed, brought out the best in him.”