What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a beautiful time for Muslims where we are able to focus on self-improvement and to intensify our devotion to Allah. Families and communities come together to support and uplift one another during this holy month.
Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic Calendar and during this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This means that we cannot eat or drink until the call for Maghrib prayer, which is when the sun starts to set. However, Ramadan is not just about not eating or drinking water, we use this month to feel closer to God by giving to charity and by being more patient and kind towards others. During Ramadan, we come together to break our fast with a meal called Iftar. Every culture has its own traditional foods but my family love to have samosas during Ramadan and dates are a must when breaking your fast! We have a final meal called Suhoor which we eat before the sun rises. This is so that we are ready and energised for another day of fasting.
While this is an important month to focus on our faith, we have to find a way to meet assignment deadlines during this time too. The month of Ramadan has always fallen on the times where I have lots of deadlines and whilst it is difficult to manage everything, I have some top tips that I would like to share that have helped me best manage my time throughout Ramadan.
Top Tip 1 – When you get up to pray, try and get some work done too
I always found it hard to get out of bed when I am fasting unless it was to pray so I always tried to motivate myself to sit by my desk after I pray just so I can get some work done. It’s very easy to fall into a habit of completing work after Iftar and just staying up all night, but if you get some work done during the day, you will feel so much more productive. Set yourself some targets to complete throughout the day so that you know what you are doing when you get to the desk.
Top tip 2 – Switch up your surroundings
It can be so easy to just stay in your room and complete your assignments in the comfort of your own space but sometimes a change of scenery can help motivate you to complete your assignments. In my first year, I found it difficult to complete work in my room as it was so easy for me to procrastinate, so I found working in the library with a friend or even working in the kitchen helped me to not feel as overwhelmed.
Top Tip 3 – Have Iftar with others
Ramadan at University was difficult to get used to at first as I have never fasted without my family. For many of us, being with our family helps make the month much more enjoyable as we are able to share the same experiences and help each other out. I have found that fasting at university is not as daunting as I initially thought. The Islam society at the University of Surrey would offer hot meals, water and dates for Muslims on campus to break their fast. It was such a welcoming environment, and it was so great praying and breaking my fast with others. Due to Covid restrictions, the Islam society require you to book in order to attend Iftar so even during these tough times, Muslim students at Surrey are still able to feel part of a community and have Iftar with others.