Voices from the Team

Ramadan 2021 – Pro Tips

Muslims all across the world are preparing for Ramadan 2021. Here are some of our pro tips to help you get ready for the most blessed month of the year:

1. Practice waking up early, by starting to get up early today

One of the hardest parts about Ramadan is getting yourself to wake up at the crack of dawn for Suhoor when you’re used to sleeping in much later. And is there anything worse than accidentally sleeping in, missing this meal, and having to run off of last night’s dinner to get you through the day?
We suggest getting up earlier and earlier every day leading up to Ramadan. This way, your body will slowly adjust to waking up on the early side so that by the time this Blessed month arrives, there is no chance you will sleep through Suhoor.

Pro Tip: use the extra hours in the morning to pray, meditate, and get ready for the day ahead.
2. Clean up (Even if it’s just a small part of your space… it will make a difference!)

Ramadan is a time to clear your head and focus on what is truly important in this life – and how can you have a clear head when you’re surrounded by clutter?
You don’t have to clean your entire house, just a small space where you can pray, reflect, write – whatever calms and centers you.

Pro tip: we recommend cleaning a space that’s exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D improves your mood and can help you reach that Ramadan zen you’re trying to achieve.
3. Start limiting your time on social media

You hate to hear it, but it’s the truth. It’s easy to spend too much time on our phones, often letting more important things – like praying, for example – take the backseat.
If you start reducing your screen time now, it will be much easier to shut off your screen for an extended period of time during Ramadan, allowing you to spend more time praying, meditating, reading the Qur’an, etc.

Pro tip: try cutting back your screen time by 10-15 minutes each day leading up to Ramadan. This way, when the Holy month arrives, it won’t seem like such a big deal to shut off your phone for a few hours.
4. HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!

You’ve been hearing this since the day you started fasting for Ramadan, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Staying hydrated is crucial for so many reasons, such as regulating body temperature, absorbing nutrients, and keeping your organs functioning properly.
You may not be used to drinking a lot of water right now, so we advise incorporating it into your diet in these days leading up to Ramadan. That way, you will remember to drink a lot of water during Suhoor and Iftar.

Pro tip: if you struggle to drink water, try eating certain fruits that are high in water content, such as watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe.
5. Set goals, but don’t forget to take it easy!

The best way to stick to resolutions is to write them down so that you don’t forget about them. Put them on a sticky note and stick it to your mirror or write them in a journal and try to track your progress each day.
These goals and resolutions don’t have to be massive – in fact, we recommend that they’re not. Try something small, like reading the Qur’an more, spending more time with your family, or taking 10 minutes out of each day to meditate.
Ramadan is about reflecting on and being grateful for all that we have and all that we are, so be patient and understanding to yourself on the days when you are just too tired to accomplish everything that you wanted. Take it day by day!

Pro tip: don’t try to accomplish 12 different things in one day. Set realistic goals and remember to show yourself some kindness whether or not you complete them.
Muslims all across the world are preparing for Ramadan 2021. Here are some of our pro tips to help you get ready for the most blessed month of the year:
1. Practice waking up early, by starting to get up early today

One of the hardest parts about Ramadan is getting yourself to wake up at the crack of dawn for Suhoor when you’re used to sleeping in much later. And is there anything worse than accidentally sleeping in, missing this meal, and having to run off of last night’s dinner to get you through the day?
We suggest getting up earlier and earlier every day leading up to Ramadan. This way, your body will slowly adjust to waking up on the early side so that by the time this Blessed month arrives, there is no chance you will sleep through Suhoor.

Pro Tip: use the extra hours in the morning to pray, meditate, and get ready for the day ahead.
2. Clean up (Even if it’s just a small part of your space… it will make a difference!)

Ramadan is a time to clear your head and focus on what is truly important in this life – and how can you have a clear head when you’re surrounded by clutter?
You don’t have to clean your entire house, just a small space where you can pray, reflect, write – whatever calms and centers you.

Pro tip: we recommend cleaning a space that’s exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D improves your mood and can help you reach that Ramadan zen you’re trying to achieve.
3. Start limiting your time on social media

You hate to hear it, but it’s the truth. It’s easy to spend too much time on our phones, often letting more important things – like praying, for example – take the backseat.
If you start reducing your screen time now, it will be much easier to shut off your screen for an extended period of time during Ramadan, allowing you to spend more time praying, meditating, reading the Qur’an, etc.

Pro tip: try cutting back your screen time by 10-15 minutes each day leading up to Ramadan. This way, when the Holy month arrives, it won’t seem like such a big deal to shut off your phone for a few hours.
4. HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!

You’ve been hearing this since the day you started fasting for Ramadan, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Staying hydrated is crucial for so many reasons, such as regulating body temperature, absorbing nutrients, and keeping your organs functioning properly.
You may not be used to drinking a lot of water right now, so we advise incorporating it into your diet in these days leading up to Ramadan. That way, you will remember to drink a lot of water during Suhoor and Iftar.

Pro tip: if you struggle to drink water, try eating certain fruits that are high in water content, such as watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe.
5. Set goals, but don’t forget to take it easy!

The best way to stick to resolutions is to write them down so that you don’t forget about them. Put them on a sticky note and stick it to your mirror or write them in a journal and try to track your progress each day.
These goals and resolutions don’t have to be massive – in fact, we recommend that they’re not. Try something small, like reading the Qur’an more, spending more time with your family, or taking 10 minutes out of each day to meditate.
Ramadan is about reflecting on and being grateful for all that we have and all that we are, so be patient and understanding to yourself on the days when you are just too tired to accomplish everything that you wanted. Take it day by day!

Pro tip: don’t try to accomplish 12 different things in one day. Set realistic goals and remember to show yourself some kindness whether or not you complete them.

We wish you a blessed and happy Ramadan ahead!

Ramadan amid a pandemic

Every year, no matter where I was in the world, I can remember hearing the calls to prayer after gouging on as much food as possible surrounded by food in family. Beginning my fast at sunrise, I especially remember the late-night runs to IHOP at two in the morning with my cousins then spending the whole day learning more about my Islamic faith.

The month of Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture, based on the lunar calendar. This year, Ramadan is set from April 23 to May 23, the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Throughout the month, we fast from sunrise to sunset, abstain from pleasures, and pray to become closer to faith. But it also a time when families gather, celebrate, and unite under shared community. It is during this month, when Muslims volunteer most within their communities and give “Zakat”, Charity, to the less fortunate. For 24 year old activist Ameer Abdul, “From a spiritual sense, throughout the day the whole family each makes dedicated time to recite the Quran … We also each like to share our favorite verse of the day with one another.”

There are over 4 million Muslims in the United States and almost two billion Muslims around the world, all of which will be affected this Ramadan due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. As a young Muslim American, celebrating Ramadan is one of the few reminders of my faith here in the US where Islamophobia continues to rise, but with threats of infecting our loved ones it seems that many of us will have to reevaluate how we practice our faith.

As Coronavirus ravages, we are encouraged to physically distance ourselves, especially from our elders and the immunocompromised members of our community. For Muslims, this will be hard during Ramadan as much of the month centers being surrounded by friends and family. But as Mosques close everywhere, it seems we have no other choice. However, Mosques around the country are starting to adapt. For Thandiwe Abdullah, she is looking forward to celebrating Ramadan in this new way “My mosque, The Islamic Center of Southern California, has been holding khutbahs (lecture) on zoom as well as Friday prayers. My youth group also holds talks on zoom every Sunday.” Thandiwe feels that “it will be a good way for us to get back to the roots of Ramadan. Ramadan is about simplicity and becoming closer to religion, and though it’s not the best of situations I think the aspect of physical distancing will force a lot of us to get back to the basics.”

This is not specific to my Muslim community in the United States, my family in Palestine are also unable to leave their homes. It sad to see this holiday, one meant for unity and happiness, to be shrouded by the fears we are all experiencing. However, if there is one thing I know about the Muslim faith and community, is that we are ones to adapt.

Though I am not concerned for myself, I am concerned for the less fortunate members of the Muslim faith, unable to connect digitally with their loved ones, and unable to find food and shelter at the Mosques.  Fatimata Cham, a Senegalese and Gambian American, her family is struggling to connect with their loved ones “Coronavirus will impact my family a lot. My Dad has found it difficult to send my grandmother money she needs for Ramadan because she lives in the village and the borders are closed in Senegal so we want someone to go pick up the money for her.” For them, this month will be especially hard as they fast all day with no reprieve after sunset. In the spirit of Zakat, fortunate Muslims should spare whatever they can to send food and groceries to those in need. With growing services like UberEats and DoorDash, we will have to find new ways to be better neighbors. We may not be face to face but our community is still here, just different.

For decades the Muslim peoples have endured growing Islamophobia, war torn regions, and countries that continue to vilify them, but their hearts are unapologetically the same – resilient. The Muslim community in American simply want others to know what Ramadan is about. Fatimata feels that “Ramadan is not just a holiday, it is a way for Muslims to learn Sabr. To learn to be patient in any struggle that may come their way so that they may be better prepared for this world and the hereafter.” This resonates with Thandiwe as Ramadan is her “favorite time of the year,” and with Ameer who realizes that “Ramadan is a time that focuses on teaching empathy.”

Muslims will make it through this month of Ramadan because Coronavirus, and life, will not get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger, and more resilient.

Contact:
Ahmad Ibsais
UMR Monthly Contributor
Volunteer Blogger
Instagram: @Ahmad.Ibsais
Facebook: Ahmad Ibsais

Refugees are crying alone

Around the world, refugees are crying alone – in silence. By Ahmad Ibsais

So much of the global community has turned its back on the people suffering, displaced without access to education, healthcare, or basic infrastructure. For these people, every day is blessing. There are over 70 million refugees and displaced people: from the war zones of Syria and Yemen, the Occupied Palestine, and Economic collapse of Venezuela (https://www.rescue.org/topic/refugee-crisis). Refugees come from all walks of life and displaced for reasons far and few between. The commonality, each pushed into devastating loss away from the communities they once knew.

Many refugees try and seek safety in neighboring countries. For those in the Middle East, the will often try to escape to Europe, while those in South America will escape to the United States (https://www.worldvision.org/refugees-news-stories/forced-to-flee-top-countries-refugees-coming-from). In countries like the United States, this exacerbates the problem. When hoards of refugees try and seek asylum from the horrors at home, some governments turn them away due to lack of infrastructure or domestic fear of competition. But how can we allow ourselves to turn our backs on human beings. At the core, the refugee crisis is a human rights issue – not a political or economic one.

As a Palestinian American, I have seen the affects of the Refugee Crisis on my own community. For Palestinians, the Nakba symbolize their longing for the homes were forced to leave (https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/05/nakba-start-1948-170522073908625.html). This longing translates around the world. Now, with the fears of Coronavirus, we cannot forget the Refugees are most at risk as they are placed in close quarters and often do not have the resources for a stable environment.

The refugee population is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. The armed conflicts they escape from fragment the public health system and infrastructure that enables them to get testing, preventative medicine, and access to healthcare. The constant geographical mobility, instability, overcrowded living conditions, and lack of sanitation facilities puts refugee communities at high risk not only for Coronavirus but other disasters.

But what is the answer to this crisis which has become accepted as part of our global backdrop? I am a firm believer that more countries need to be more accepting of refugees for permanent resettlement. Not only will allow safety, but help refugees reintegrate back into civilian life. Another way to aid in the Refugee Crisis is to fundraise vehemently. The United Nations Refugee administration estimates about 8.6 billion a year in order to address the crisis, but they only receive half of this (http://reporting.unhcr.org/sites/default/files/ga2020/pdf/Chapter_Financial.pdf).

At the forefront of solving the crisis needs to be the rapid stabilization of at-risk countries in order to prevent the growth of refugees and to keep communities safe. We need to call on our global leadership to give refugees a platform to speak their truth and bring their struggles to the immediate discussion.

We have only ourselves to blame for the worsening of the Refugee Crisis – as it grows so does mass xenophobia, damaging the human condition.

Contact:
Ahmad Ibsais
UMR Monthly Contributor
Volunteer Blogger
Instagram: @Ahmad.Ibsais
Facebook: Ahmad Ibsais

Translate »

Search UMR

Skip to content