What does Ramadan mean to you?
It’s a time where we try to understand what others are going through, for example I'm living in the UK and I can eat or drink whenever I feel like it but other people don't have the choice to do so, so fasting during the month of Ramadan, gives me the feeling of what they're going through. Ramadan for me personally means watching out for people, listening to others and worshipping our faith.
Islam is about being peaceful and so when you’re fasting, you're not swearing or doing any bad things and that’s what it’s all about – being good, being humble, being peaceful and understanding what the less fortunate are going through.
Why do Muslims partake in Ramadan?
In our faith we believe that an Angel brought the holy book, called the Quran, to the prophet during the month of Ramadan, so I will try to start and finish the whole Quran during the month. It’s a big book, there’s about 30 different chapters, so what I tend to do is read one chapter a day, and that helps me get through and finish the entire book.
What does a normal day look like for you during Ramadan – That’s working in the office, WFH and the weekends?
People usually wake up early in the morning before sunrise and eat, but what I do is eat at around 1am and go to sleep, wake up at 7am and get ready to go to work. I try to go to the gym after work in the evening and then break my fast when the sun sets.
When I’m actually fasting it’s not that difficult because I’m busy with work so time flies. It’s the waking up for me that is hard because I sleep late and we also have the early morning prayers so that’s the difficult part – the lack of sleep.
On the weekends, I try to catch up on my sleep a little but there’s always something to do for example there might be a weekend where I go to my in-laws or my auntie’s/uncle’s or my nan’s, but because of Covid things are a little bit different at the moment. Ramadan’s all about being with your family.
What would you say is the hardest thing about Ramadan?
When you’re outside of work, you pretty much speak anyhow you want and that includes when you’re talking to your friends or your partner or anyone you’re close to. You might swear when you’re having casual conversations but actively trying to not swear definitely humbles you.
What else would I say? I wouldn’t say food, maybe out of the 30 days only 2 of them would be a struggle due to hunger but most other days I don’t get hungry. However, you do get thirsty and more so now because we’re fasting during warmer weather.
Also, trying to make sure that you’re always praying – technically your fast doesn’t count if you’re not praying as well whilst doing it. Personally, I’m very wary of this because I’m guilty sometimes of forgetting or I might be feeling lazy.
For anyone who doesn’t know, how does Eid link with Ramadan?
Eid is basically a day after we’ve done 29 or 30 days of fasting – Allah, our God, created a special day for us to celebrate what we've done the past month. It’s a day where people generally do different things, but it can change with age. For example, when I was younger, I used to hire cars and all my friends would do the same, then we’d meet up to catch up and have a good time.
Now, for me as I’m a married man, I mainly just chill out with my family. In the morning I’ll go to the Mosque for prayers, come home and have a traditional Asian breakfast. Believe it or not, I like to go to the gym after Mosque then freshen up and get ready for the day.
I’ve been with my wife over a year now so last year we went to my in-laws’ but this year I’ll be going to my nan’s house, my mum’s house and then also the in-laws’. At every house you go to you have to eat loads as well, sometimes I’m thinking how am I even going to eat all this food after 30 days of fasting!
We also plan our outfits for Eid, now I’m married, me, my wife and my little one will all be in matching colours – I’m looking forward to matching with my little one and wife.