The Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts today, Tuesday 13 May, and many students and staff will be fasting.
Ramadan remembers the month the Qur'an (the Muslim holy book) was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is a time for reflection, where Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, and focus on prayer, purification and charitable acts. Ramadan is one of the holiest months of the Islamic lunar calendar. The last day of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, will be 12 May.
This year Ramadan falls once again during a period of lockdown and social distancing restrictions. While restrictions are easing, many of the usual practices normally observed such as communal iftars (breaking of the fast), congregational taraweeh (nigh prayers), and visiting friends and family indoors will still be different this year. However you decide to observe Ramadan, we hope the following tips and guidance help you to make the most of the blessed month.
During the pandemic the ongoing restrictions have been strenuous and have taken their toll on us, both physically and mentally. Be kind to yourself. We all want to come out of this month renewed, healed and closer to Allah. - Shamima Akter, QMSU President
You can read the full message from the Students' Union President, Shamima Akter.
Here are some helpful study tips from the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB):
- Let others know – give your tutor, student advisor or professors advance notice that you will be fasting.
- Breaks – ensure you are taking regular breaks from studying, for rest and reflection – perhaps around salaah times.
- Timetable – set yourself a study timetable. Lectures always help structure your day even when scheduled online, but make sure you take into account prayer times and iftar when planning your day.
- Timings – if you are able, start your day earlier so that you can finish earlier and have some down time prior to iftar.
- Share – share Ramadan with classmates and friends by having a conversation about Ramadan, your struggles or sharing what special activities you’re doing or foods you may be cooking/etc.
- Duties – honour your studies and commitments with patience and good grace to those around you.
- Breaks – Should you find yourself frustrated or tired, take a break.
View the full MCB #SafeRamadan 2021 Guidance.
You can also download this year’s Ramadan timetable from the East London Mosque.
We understand that the lack of being able to observe practices due to current restrictions, combined with the upcoming assessment period, may lead to increased anxiety. Please contact our Advice and Counselling Service for support if you are feeling anxious during this time. Resources and initiatives from several Muslim mental health organisations in the UK is also available.
You can also connect with the Muslim community through the Islamic Society at the Students’ Union.
If you are affected by any incident of hate, or if you are concerned by difficulties such as relationship or familial abuse , especially during this period of social distancing, you can still seek support and contact us at Report + Support.
Ramadan Mubarak to all in our community observing this holy month!