Ramadan in Lockdown | Ariby Ari
Media, Communication and Cultural Studies student Ari shares insight into spending this year’s Ramadan in Newcastle during lockdown.
I’m Ari, a final year Media student from Malaysia. I’m currently observing the holy month of Ramadan which is practiced by Muslims all over the world, where we fast as an act of worship.
Ramadan usually has a vibrant social experience, such as congregational prayers at the mosque and large gatherings with friends for daily evening meals. This year’s Ramadan is a unique one as I’m spending the fasting month in lockdown at Newcastle.
My host family / housemates and I would have Sahoor (the morning meal before fasting) at around 2:30am. A simple but nutritious meal to give us enough energy to last throughout the day, as we abstain from consuming food and drink from dawn until sunset. Afterwards, I will perform my morning prayers to catch enough Z’s before waking up at around 10am.
I try to maximize daylight hours by directing my energy towards productive activities, since I don’t have to spend time eating or commuting. It’s the final few weeks of my degree, and I’m spending a lot of time on assignments since it’s deadline season.
But at the same time, I try to balance it out with acts of worship that I can do from home - such as reading the holy Qur’an, listening to Islamic podcasts, and attending online classes with my friends. I also make the effort to keep in touch with my family and loved ones back at home through video calls.
Finally, my host family and I have Iftar (a meal to break our fast) and perform evening prayers in the comfort of our home. The University’s Islamic Society has also been doing a free Iftar meal collection program!
Even though we can’t socialize or go out as usual, this fasting month gives us a lot of opportunities for self-reflection and bonding within our own households. It is certainly a different kind of Ramadan this year, but still a beautiful one nonetheless. I’m sure Muslim communities all over the world will greatly appreciate the social aspect of Ramadan in the future.
Published By Ari on 13/05/2020 | Last Updated 09/03/2021