Why A TikTok Star Is Going Viral For His Ramadan Cooking

While the exact dates might vary year to year, Ramadan is celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (via BBC).  TikTok star Ahmad Alzahabi of The Golden Balance explains in a video that during the holiday, Muslims focus on spiritual reflection and fast from sunrise to sundown. The food TikToker has been using his platform to not only share delicious recipes with his fans but also offer insight into the importance of the religious holiday. Discussing the fasting experience, Alzahabi told Today, "It keeps me grounded and brings me back to who I am. It's you versus yourself. It's not as impossible as it seems. I feel like I become a better person."

In some of the videos, the TikToker shows what he eats during Ramadan. By offering a glimpse into his religious tradition, the TikToker invites a conversation about cooking and culture. For example, in one clip Alzahabi shares a banana date recipe he likes to make for suhoor, or the meal eaten before dawn during the holiday. People eat dates during Ramadan and they are frequently included on the table during the iftar, the post-sunset dinner to break the fast (via The New York Times). The content creator shows in his videos that tradition continues while he shares recipes and welcomes people to the table.

Ahmad Alzahabi's fans love the videos

Ahmad Alzahabi is calling the videos he is sharing for the holiday "The Ramadan Chronicles" and talked to ABC News about the balance of being a content creator while staying true to his religious beliefs during the month. "For me, it's a spiritual cleanse. You're stepping away from your day-to-day and thinking more about why we're on this planet... It's not just refraining and holding back from food," he said. In one TikTok video, Alzahabi shares a lentil soup recipe that he loves to eat during Ramadan, and in another clip acknowledges that he is fasting while showcasing a mango lassi. It seems that it's all about bringing together all the components of his life, just like the perfect balanced recipe ingredients.

Beyond the delicious food in his videos, there is a celebration of family and culture. From featuring his dad as a taste tester to bringing his mother's recipes to a worldwide audience, the reality is that Alzahabi tries to unite people through his cooking — which viewers appreciate even if they can't eat the dish when they see the video. "Pov: you're fasting and now hungry," one TikToker commented on a video. Another user responded to a clip, "Post it after Iftar bro." His fans definitely seem to appreciate the recipes, food inspiration, and sharing.