Iftar Disaster


The first weekend of Ramadhan, I had guests over for iftar. It wasn’t planned. A few days before that, I had lied to maintenance so that they come paint the ceiling and fix the roof because the abundant rain we had recently caused some spots. Ya Allah, please forgive me for that. Telling them that I would have guests over the weekend for Ramadhan expedited this work order. I wanted my house attractive. It was the only way…smh.

Otherwise, they would have ignored me like they did the numerous times before that. And guess what, my lie became reality and I received blessings for cooking haha! Anyways, the dinner was a success after finally mastering a trick last Ramadhan. The trick is to serve your guests small plates of everything. It took me two years, well two Ramadhans to figure that out. Guests are either shy to eat or don’t know where to begin when you cook everything under the sun for them. Then you’re left with food for days! Anyways parenthesis.

So, yesterday, I had another iftar dinner. I went all out as usual; took off work, cleaned, shopped for missing ingredients, and cooked while also taking care of the baby. It was a lot of work, no joke about that. Today, as a family we went out to relax at the park and enjoy a breezy time by the lake. We lost track of time and decided to eat at a Muslim buffet because magrib time was closing on to us.

When we got there, we picked our table, the hubby got in line to get a plate, and I watched the baby. When he came back, I went to stand in line. Then, I saw smoke coming out of the kitchen. Immediately, I thought ‘this doesn’t look right.’ But I stood there in line with many others. We had fasted all day long and some smoke wasn’t going to shake us. I looked in my husband direction and he wasn’t there. I was glad that he was outside with the baby because smoke poisoning is no joke for kids. Even adults but we didn’t care.

But like my inner voice warned, this didn’t look right. As soon as I got to the buffet after waiting 15 minutes, a cop got in the restaurant and said, ‘Everybody out!’ Like you could have suspected, no one budged. I was thinking, ‘Try telling people who fasted all day to let their food cool down and go out while you put out some smoke.’ It’s only when firetrucks and more cops showed up that the ummah took the smoke seriously and reluctantly got out. Some took their plates with them. I wish I did that. I stared at my plate decorated with every small spoon of what the buffet had to offer. Fitting everything in it, like I so commonly do it; a work of art! The pita bread, the pastries, and the baklava just begged me to take them with me. But we hadn’t paid for the food yet. Disappointed, I just snatched my bag and got out, leaving the car seat behind. In hindsight, I was hoping that we would come back and feast. But we couldn’t. The roof of the restaurant burned and the firefighters declared it wasn’t safe to be inside after they had put out the flames who came from the oven. We had to get a cop to get the baby car seat for us and we left for home. Alhmadullilah nothing happened to anybody. Everybody got out safe I think.

But why would Allah allow such a thing to happen? In the history of things and of my blogging, you will notice that even though we enjoy eating at that Middle Eastern buffet, the amount of ishraf (waste) that takes place there is outrageous. Today, I even saw a woman carry plates after plates of meat to her table while I silently snarled, ‘they aren’t even going to finish eating all that!’ As a regular, I see it times after times. Muslims waste food like crazy! Now, Allah has taken the restaurant from us and that will teach a lesson to the ummah.

Evil eye and cutting corners are perhaps other reasons why this happened. Evil eye because the deal wasn’t even locked yet people had their phone out; filming, taking pics of the food, etc. to share on social media of course. Our prophet sallallahu aleihi wa salam said, if you want something to succeed, hide it from people. It’s true, many times I shared good news with people to see it not happen at my dismay. What do you think that is? Envy. You haven’t ate iftar yet and you’re gloating and showing it off on Facebook or whatever social place you hang out at. I had to hide my face a few times because I didn’t want to be in people’s videos. I’m a negative #25 in the making. Not ready to be discovered yet, lol!

To continue the story, the kitchen staff wasn’t trained properly on how to use a fire extinguisher. That’s the thing with us foreigners, we cut corners to make a quick buck the big majority of the time. We run on borrow time and sooner or later, it blows up in our faces.

20 more days of Ramadhan and this place is going to lose a lot of profit. I’ll miss eating there because I’m sure this place is going to be under a lot scrutiny from the city now. It’s not going to re-open until they pass all kinds of tests. I pray that Allah puts their affairs in order and that they donate the leftovers from customers to the hungry when they re-open. This is the second incident for this company. They had another one in another city last year when a SUV drove right in the restaurant while people ate. They sure have a string of bad luck right now but Allah is the best of planners.

Above all, no one is perfect. I sure am not! Stay safe and many blessings to you this Ramadhan, ameen.

Papatia Feauxzar

Papatia Feauxzar is a practicing Accountant. She focused on personal finance in graduate school. She has a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). Around the year, Feauxzar expatiate on personal finance and romance tips here and on her blogs. She is also the Online Editor of Hayati Magazine and the author of the first Ivorian Cookbook in English. Also a poet, you can read three of her pieces in "WOKE & LOUD: A Faith-Based Medley of Muslim Poetry & Spoken Word" published by Inked Resistance. Visit her at www.djarabikitabs.com or www.fofkys.com .

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