In the nine years of his married life, Mahrizi has made sure not to travel abroad in the holy month with the sole objective of being with family members – close and distant. The family, based in Al Khoudh, consists of five members along with Khalfan: his wife Zubaida Ahmed al Salmi, a business case controller at Ooredoo; daughter Aisha; sons Haroun and Arkan.
The family reads the Q’uran together and limits watching television, shopping and social media usage during this period.
Every evening for Maghrib prayer, the five members of the family come together to break the fast with dates followed by a sumptuous meal.
A total of seven to ten items including samosa, soup, biryani, pasta, grilled fish, beans, meat items, luqaimat (sweet dumplings), asaba zainab (a Middle Eastern dessert) are prepared by Zubaida on a daily basis.
The menu changes as per day and guests. She prepares Chinese, Arabic, Italian and Indian food items. However, meat items, chicken, sheri and hamour are the regulars on the menu. It takes 120 minutes for Zubaida and her two helpers to prepare the items.
“I plan the day and menu well in advance. Sometimes, I also prepare the basic mixture or snacks beforehand to avoid any last minute rush in case there are people visiting us. I make sure to change the menu on a daily basis and work on the rice and bread items.”
She added that her children are a strength to her and they never bother her but follow her to the kitchen and observe her silently. Aisha even lends a helping hand to her mother.
Mahrizi too does his part in supporting his wife. “As per Prophet Mohammed, it is not the duty of the woman alone to take care of the household chores and children. Even a man can do so and I love to assist her in whatever possible way,” said Mahrizi.
The family members try to keep the spirit of Ramadan from the first day itself. Along with his cousins and their spouses Mahrizi and his family visit his father’s house in Mawaleh.
The family also makes sure not to waste food keeping in mind the essence of Ramadan. “We make sure to cook only as per the requirements of the family and never waste food. Ramadan is the month of ten per cent food and 90 per cent good deeds, prayers and self-control. We must not forget the very essence of the month and thus wasting food is totally against the spirit,” said Mahrizi.