Preparing for Ramadan

Oak Tree school visit the Messenger
Oak Tree school visit the Messenger

On Monday 4th May six pupils from Oak Tree School visited the Messenger. Many of the girls had been former pupils of Byron Wood primary, who recently launched their ‘Byron Wood Bugle’ so it seems fitting that Oak Tree School is now thinking about launching their own school newspaper. As part of their research visit to The Messenger, the girls worked with us to write an article about Ramadan.

Story: Aliya Shafiq, Safiya Begum, Bushra Bari, Asma Osman, Nadia Mohamad, and Maryam Bouleghalegh Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year. Ramadan is not simply an exercise in fasting by day, binge-eating by night and setting the clock early to have a meal before the fast. Apart from total denial of food and drink from sunrise till sunset, Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; to cleanse the body and soul; to re-focus on the worship of God; to seek nearness to God and beg for his pleasure and forgiveness. Ramadan helps us to understand the struggle of those in third world countries.

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It celebrates the Quran being revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) in 610 CE on Laylat al-Qadr, "the Night of Power”.

Fasting and why we do it

Fasting is ‘fardh’ (compulsory) for all Muslims except those who are pregnant, breast feeding, sick, elderly or travelling. People with a short illness can catch up on their fasts after Ramadan or give to charity. Fasting can help reduce junk food and possibly lose weight in a healthy way. Most of us started full fasting in Year 7 or 8 but younger children do smaller fasts. Before dawn, many Muslims observe a pre-fast meal, the suhoor. Then it’s a long wait until the sun goes down. Ramadan is a discipline but it is great being part of something.

This year Ramadan starts on 18th June, so the hours are long and you get thirsty. Oak Tree School is a Muslim school so we adjust what we do in Ramadan: we’ll start from 11am and have a shorter break at lunchtime. Iftar is the evening meal in which Muslims break their fasts with dates; according to tradition, Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) broke his fast with three dates.

Ramadan in Burngreave

It’s easier to do Ramadan in Muslim countries because people aren’t eating or drinking in front of you. It’s good if people ask before eating in front of us if they know we’re fasting. We asked some non-Muslims about Ramadan. Wayne said, “Ramadan is a time when people follow religion. I admire the Muslims who don’t eat or drink when there is so much temptation around them during their fast. They are strong and I would love to take a page on trying what they do. ” Others thought it would be helpful for dieting.

There’s more to Ramadan than fasting

In Ramadan Muslims must also refrain from backbiting, swearing, lying and having arguments. Evening prayers are conducted during which long portions of the Qur'an are recited. These prayers are taraweeh, which means to rest and relax.

Essentials of Ramadan Include:

• Fasting on Sunnah (teachings of the prophet) days i.e. Mondays and Thursdays.

• Eating healthily

• Reciting more Quran

• Trying not to sin

• Visiting the mosque

Eid-al-Fitr marks the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan and the beginning of the new lunar month, Shawwal. People offer presents and money to one another and spread love. Sadaqat-ul-Fitr is an obligatory donation to charity for Muslims who can afford it, given before Eid. Muslims should always pray no matter what month it is.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Graham Jones on 2015-05-28 13:02:04.
The content of the page was last modified by Gaby Spinks on 2016-10-07 11:26:51.

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