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Ramadan in Lockdown | Waqar

Ramadan in Lockdown | Waqar

by Waqar

Second year Marketing student Waqar shares his insight into spending this year’s Ramadan at home during lockdown.

Meet Waqar

The world has hit pause on ‘routine’, and no-one really knows for sure whether the fast-forward button will bring us anything close to what we viewed as normality just a few months ago. People are dealing with the lockdown with varying degrees of success/happiness, and for those of us taking part in Ramadan it has presented us with an all the more bizarre situation.

One of the key facets of this holy month is the strengthened sense of community it brings. However, mosques are closed, extended family interactions are reduced to a phone screen, and there is uncertainty over Eid celebrations at the end of the Islamic month. In this blog I will be sharing what has become my new ‘routine’ for Ramadan during the lockdown.

An Early Start

First things first, I have breakfast at 3am. No, it’s not part of some ridiculously overpriced fitness regime I got sold on Craigslist. In order to fast in Ramadan, Muslims must have their morning meal before dawn, and this varies each year depending on when Ramadan falls. Since I’d rather not be a cranky so-and-so while scoffing my eggs during Sehri (morning meal), I choose to just stay awake and binge-watch shows (I can’t believe I put off watching Prison Break for this long!). Hydrated and fed, I read the Quran and do my morning prayers. We aim to try and complete the Quran at least once cover-to-cover during Ramadan, and it’s really not too difficult if you set aside an hour of your day to focus on it.

That pretty much covers my morning routine. I would then proceed to cuddle my duvet for a good 8-9 hours. I guess that’s one of the advantages of having no University or work during Ramadan this year – there’s nothing to wake up for at 7am! 

Batteries recharged, time to nerd out

That being said, it’s important to not just let the hours go to waste by sleeping through the day. I still have assignments and revision to crack on with, so I’ve given my mum license to pull the trigger on the water pistol if I’m not out of bed by 1pm. How many times has it actually been required? In the words of Jose Mourinho, “I prefer not to speak.”

Given I have deadlines over the next week, I’m prioritising about two-thirds of my study sessions to assignments and reading, but once that’s out of the way the exam preparations will have my full attention. During lockdown it feels like that period between Christmas and New Year when no-one quite knows what date or day of the week it is. That’s why in order to avoid becoming complacent with my uni work I’ve made a flexible revision timetable to keep me on the right track.

At one with nature

The books are back on the shelf by around 6pm, and that means it’s time to get outside and soak in some Vitamin D. Despite not eating during the day, I feel as though I’ve certainly gained a few pounds during the lockdown. Gyms are closed, my bike needs some repairs, and there’s no-one to play football with. Despite this, over the past week I’ve decided to make the most of what’s around me. There is a magnificent walking trail nearby to my house, with a hilltop climb that leads to a stunning view of the town. This takes about an hour and a half to complete, so once I get back it’s time for the best part of the day…

Sun down, Chefin’ up

One of the best parts of being back home for Ramadan is being able to have my mum’s delicious cooking every day. Not only does it save me spending eye-watering amounts on takeout and restaurants like I did last year, but it just carries that feel-good factor with it too. I think that is certainly something all students who have gone back home can agree on. With that, the end of the fast arrives and the daily routine becomes complete. I break my fast once the sun goes down and spend some quality time with my family, usually over a game of Ludo and a cup of tea.

This Ramadan is no-doubt a challenge for everyone involved, but I think the sense of unity is stronger due to the circumstances. It’s certainly one we’ll look back on in years to come.

Read Ari's blog about Ramadan 2020 in Newcastle