To recognise the upcoming month of Ramadan our Student Council have produced an excellent guide. The Ramadan Newsletter includes messages, interviews and a calendar. We invite anyone to download and read this project, those observing Ramadan and those would like to learn more.
Below you can find the full interviews with members of the Student Council who share their favourite aspects of Ramadan, how they structure their days as well as how to greet friends or colleagues observing Ramadan.
Interview with Nahida, Student Council Equality & Diversity Officer
What do you do to pass time during Ramadan?
In Ramadan, I like to pass time by reading some verses from the Quran, as this is a method that helps me to escape from the real world issues for a short period of time and also helps me to spiritually connect to Allah. Another way I like to pass time is to help my mum and sister prepare iftar (the meal that we eat to break our fast), and this may involve helping cleaning the dishes away, making some of the food, or even collecting some herbs from my parents’ greenhouse to add to the food.
Why is Ramadan important to you?
Ramadan is important to me because it’s a time of togetherness. I have 2 other siblings who are either at work or at school, and my parents usually spend time together in the garden looking after their plants (they love their horticulture, especially growing vegetables that remind them of their childhoods in Bangladesh), so we don’t get to spend much time together in the evening. Ramadan allows us to spend more family time, we sit down and eat together and we read taraweeh together. It’s a nice way to end your day, particular if the day has been stressful, as detoxing with family always makes things better.
What do you look forward to in Ramadan?
I look forward to reading taraweeh together with everyone at home. Catching up with my siblings about their day is something I also look forward to. As well as this, I look forward to spending time with my parents, listening to their stories about how Ramadan in the UK is different to how it was in Bangladesh, as well as listening to my dad’s stories about how hard it was to fast in Saudi Arabia during his time, as well as juggling around his job and basic daily needs. Most of all, I look forward to Eid at the end of Ramadan, and celebrating together with family, enjoying nice food, getting Eid gifts, and catching up with extended family members (aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins), through video calls.
Interview with Sabrine, Student Council Health & Wellbeing Officer
How do you structure your day in Ramadan?
In Ramadan, I always wake up 2 hours before sunrise, I read some verses of the Quran and help my mother to prepare suhoor (the meal that we eat before the fasting begins), then I perform the fajr prayer and go back to sleep for 3 hours or so, wake up and get ready for college. When I come back home after college, I help my family to prepare iftar meals that we later share with neighbours and family members that live nearby to break the fast. Then, I perform my Taraweeh prayer. I go to sleep to wake up and do it all over again.
What do you look forward to the most in Ramadan?
In Ramadan, I look forward to actively learning more about my religion, spending time reading verses of the Quran, making Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), reading the hadiths and spending more time with family and friends. In addition to this, I look forward to being a good person, helping other people, volunteering with organisations, giving to charity and being more productive.
What can we do to wish Muslim friends well this holy month?
To greet people whether they are friends or neighbours just say ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ but if you don’t want to attempt that word you can simply say ‘ Happy Ramadan’. Moreover, I appreciate it when someone acknowledges that we are going through the fast. For example, at lunch break it is a good idea when a friend who is not fasting eats their food somewhere else and not in front of a Muslim person who is fasting, my friends personally prefer to eat their food somewhere else when one of us is fasting which I find very respectful.
Congratulations to the Student Council team who have contributed to this project: Muhammad, Sanjida, Usaamah, Nahida, Sabrine, Hajrah and Anisa.