Last year Nuha (8) fasted for the entire month of Ramadaan for the first time. She however did not want to have her achievements acknowledged at this event, as she was too shy to go up to receive her award. This year however, for some reason, she built up the courage to claim her prize belatedly. This could very well have had something to do with the fact that her darling cousin, F. too was participating in this event and that spending the morning with her sidekick while they stuffed their faces with the delicious contents of their goodie-bag prizes, was well worth the unwanted attention she'd have to endure in going up to collect her prize once her name was called.
The event was lovely and there were some touching moments as the new Muslims' (especially the adults) names were called. The Imam (I forgot his name unfortunately) emphasised that although parents might sneak their little darlings small gifts to show pride at their accomplishments (fasting) and despite the fact that prizes were being awarded at this event for those who fasted for the first time, it has to be emphasised that Muslims fast 'for the love of Allah'.
Imam Achmad Cassiem voiced his displeasure at the use of the word 'revert' to describe people who had just embraced Islam. He said that once they took their Shahada, they became Muslims (like any other) and that giving them any other label implied that they were on some sort of probation before they became Muslims.
He also cautioned people against the use of the term non-Muslim, likening it to the use of the inherently biased term 'non-white' during apartheid.
Here are some pics of Nuha and her darling cousin receiving their prizes (the pics were taken with my phone with my very shaky hand, so the quality leaves much to be desired)
And here we have my mum and my niece, anxiously awaiting little F's turn
But before I get into trouble for having done a special blog post on Nuha's turn at this event, I'd better show you a photo taken 2 years ago when Tharaa (then aged 9) took to the stage at the same event