As part of our Ramadan Around The World series, we will be sharing heartwarming stories on how Ramadan is celebrated around the world. Based on the story submitted by Sana Saleh from Toronto in Canada, this interview has been edited for length and clarity by Have Halal, Will Travel's editorial team.
Pick up any postcard of Toronto and you're likely to see skyscrapers and gorgeous city skyline. Known as the largest city in Canada, that is one of the sights that Sana Saleh wakes up to every day. Calling Toronto her home, Sana is a Pakistani Canadian who lives with her husband and two children whom she will be celebrating Ramadan with this year.
Credit: Sana Saleh
For Sana, Ramadan means forgiveness and community, and the holy month has given her the opportunity to bring herself closer to Allah despite the challenges from the pandemic. "We are in our third lockdown, so we are unable to visit the masjid in our community. Instead, we try to do every salah as a family, recite Quran and spend more time listening to lectures with our kids," shared Sana.
Credit: Sana Saleh
Despite the current lockdown in Toronto, Sana remains grateful for the little things in life including the presence of her loved ones. "I try to make Ramadan enjoyable for the kids as we spend lesser time with the community due to the pandemic. We try to make the best of what we have and I'm grateful that we have been able to spend more time as a family and learn from one another."
Besides the quality time we spent with our loved ones, part of the blessings of Ramadan include the delicious food we get to enjoy. For Sana, it means Pakistani food or paratha for sahur and lots of fruits and pakoras for iftar. But she does have her personal favourites, "I always enjoy biryani on Eid and fried foods like samosas and pakoras during Ramadan ."
If Canada is on your travel bucket list, Sana is the perfect person to ask for recommendations! For must-see spots, explore to your heart's content because Canada is a wonderland, according to Sana. When it comes to must-visit local eateries, Western food lovers would enjoy this one. "You should try Toppings located in Richmond Hill or Vaughan. They serve the best food ever! We love their wings, pizzas and burgers because they're incredibly flavourful!"
For travellers who prefer to take the road less taken, there's a hidden gem that Sana wants you to visit on your future getaways. "We love the Scarborough bluffs, an amazing beach point with a gorgeous view." If you're planning to immerse yourself in the local culture, don't forget to include downtown Toronto in your itinerary and remember that June or July are the best months to visit!
Share your Ramadan Around The World stories
The diversity of the ummah truly exemplifies the beauty of Islam, and it's great to read stories from the community! If you want to share how Ramadan is celebrated in your country, fill in the form below and stand a chance to be featured!
P.S. If you can't view the form above, you can submit your story in this form