Ramadan is well known as a time for fasting as well as prayer, spiritual and self-reflection and getting closer to Allah. For many of us, however, it is also a time of sharing food with our friends, family and those less fortunate than ourselves during our iftar meals and going to the mosque at night for Tarawih prayers. Can you imagine a Ramadan without these things?
This year, Ramadan will be very different from any we have experienced before.
The COVID-19 pandemic and enforced lockdown here in the UK means that the mosques will remain shut for prayers and iftar will have to be confined to our own homes, separate from our family and friends. In addition to this, the vast majority of us will also have to remain at home, day-in, day-out, as we do our part to help stop the spread of this virus.
With that in mind, we have put together some advice which may help you prepare for Ramadan 2020 at home:
Prepare Yourself Mentally
Dealing with the notion of spending the majority of your time confined to your home for weeks on end can be quite daunting, and there are many changes to everyday life we are all dealing with. Preparing for Ramadan on top of this means that there are even more changes to our familiar routines.
For Ramadan 2020, we will not be praying Tarawih at the mosque but at home by ourselves or with our families. Meals that would usually be shared with our loved ones will be spent at home, with just our families. Despite the difference that Ramadan during lockdown will bring, it brings the opportunity to benefit from these unprecedented times, and we must all remain thankful for our homes and health, as well as Allah (SWT) for keeping us safe.
You do you: Create your own Ramadan timetable
Usually, the month of Ramadan is a time when we push ourselves to do more than we would normally when it comes to our faith and with this extra time to spend at home, we have the perfect opportunity to set up a Ramadan routine which suits our own individual needs. Create a list of all the things you want to achieve – such as some reading and reflection, zikr, or listening to an inspirational talk and set aside time to ensure that you can achieve these goals around your usual prayers, work, and family commitments.
That being said, don’t worry about what everyone else appears to be doing, especially during the challenging times that this lockdown and pandemic are bringing. For example, some may appear to be doing a million extra things with their time, and others may not be able to do much at all. Whilst we should all compete in doing good for the world and those around us, it is important that we indulge in self-care and look after our own mental health, too, only doing that which we are capable of doing.
If you don’t know where to start, try ours. Click here to download and print a copy for yourself.
Tarawih at Home
Undertaking the task of Tarawih at home doesn’t need to be daunting. We are certainly not all Huffaaz who have memorised the whole Qur’an, in fact, many of us may even struggle to know enough surahs for the 20 (or 8) rakaats that we have to pray.
Make things easier on yourself and ensure that nothing is missed: make a table of the surahs you will be reading so that you don’t lose track – it happens to the best of us!
Adapting Iftar and Suhoor Traditions
Another of the biggest changes we experience throughout Ramadan this year is our Iftar and Suhoor meals. Without the pressure of catering for numerous iftar parties, we can focus on creating these meals more to our own preferences and tastes. Consider the foods that will bring your family joy as well as providing adequate nutrition to get through the fasts in conjunction with the foods that you are able to acquire – remembering that many supermarkets are struggling to maintain stock levels currently.
Of course, missing the community spirit of feeding others during Iftar means the prospect of missing out on huge rewards. However, there are ways you can still help those in need. You may not be able to share food with relatives and neighbours, but you can help your brothers and sisters around the world who would otherwise go without by donating to our Widow and Orphan food parcel appeal here.
Remember to Take a Break
All this extra time at home brings the extra pressure of making the most of your time – whether this is learning a new language or skill or deepening your connection with Allah (SWT). Ramadan is the time when you should be increasing your level of worship and reflecting on all that you have to be grateful for, even as this pandemic takes a grip of the world. That being said, we need to also recognise that we are human, and we all need a break – especially when confined to our homes for up to 23 hours a day. Take each day as it comes, because, sometimes, just getting through the day is a big enough achievement.
Enjoy your time for exercise out of the home – go for a walk (while maintaining social distancing, of course); use your downtime to engage with a beneficial talk or something inspirational; and finally, be sure to reach out to friends, family or locals within your community that may need your help – many are struggling right now, and often, if you don’t ask, you will never know that you could have helped.
Finally, remember that despite these unprecedented times, this is a month of huge blessings, and anything you do can be blessed if you have the right intentions.
Abu Huraira related that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Laylatul Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah, will have his past sins forgiven”
From the whole team here at Orphans in Need, we hope you stay safe. Ramadan Mubarak.