UK

Muslims Go Travel from Bradford, UK

  1. What is your name and where are you from? (Country, City). (Current city where you are spending this Ramadaan).

 

My name is Juber and I am from Bradford, UK. This is also where I am spending Ramadan at the moment.

 

  1. Can you tell us if you are in lockdown? How strict is the lockdown? What are you allowed to do in terms of movement?

 

Yes, we are still currently in lockdown and it’s not extremely strict to be honest. We can go out for shopping, exercise, medical reasons and also for work for those of us who are key workers. I’m currently working at home though fortunately as my job permits this. We do have to ensure that when we go out for whatever reason, we only do so with members of our household and not socialise with other members of the public or other households.

 

  1. Being under these lockdown conditions is sure to have made this Ramadaan different from previous Ramadaans. Can you tell us how this Ramadaan is different? Things that you had done previously in Ramadaan and now due to the lockdown you cannot do these activities?

 

Well, for starters, the toughest thing is being unable to go to the Mosque. The Mosque was at the epicentre of our experience in the previous years throughout Ramadan. It’s been tough not praying in the beautiful prayer hall of our local Mosque and listening to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an up until it’s completion. Another thing I’ve really missed is the atmosphere, experience and environment in Ramadan throughout the day with everyone going to the Mosque and sharing food with neighbours. Another thing which we really enjoyed was visiting family and friends for the Iftar. This was always a joyous occasion for us all as it allowed us to have a get together, share food and catch up with one another. Because of that, I also miss tasting delicious food cooked by other people including my parents, sisters, and mother in laws food.

 

  1. Can you share a positive message/ impact that spending Ramadaan under these new conditions has brought about for you and/or your country?

 

Personally, I’ve seen quite a few positive impacts this lockdown has had on myself and my

household. Firstly, I’m getting the chance to spend a lot more time at home, which is easier when it comes to focusing on my Ramadan experience. I’m also able to pray my five times Salah and Taraweeh with my wife, which in and of itself is a unique experience. Usually, immediately after Iftar, I am off to the Mosque to do this. However, this year, we ensure that we pray all our prayers together. We also sit and read the Quran together and spend time sharing reminders with one another. It’s just been powerful to experience Ramadan at home with family in this way, and I’ve learnt how much of a difference it makes to actively engage in these acts together.

Bradford, UKBradford, UK

Thank you Muslims Go Travel for sharing with us your experiences of this Ramadaan 2020 which has indeed been a unique Ramadaan for us all.

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Cookiesonacloud from London

 

1. What is your name and where are you from? (Country, City). (Current city where you are spending this Ramadaan).

 

I am Tania, the person behind “Cookies on a Cloud”. My husband and I, along with our two kids are from London, and this is where we are – and have been over the last two months!  – at home this Ramadan.

 

2. Can you tell us if you are in lockdown? How strict is the lockdown? What are you allowed to do in terms of movement?

 

Yes we are in lockdown. It has recently been relaxed, here in England, where people can now go out an unlimited number of times for exercise, go out to work, and any other essential reasons such as shopping for groceries or helping someone vulnerable. People are allowed to meet one other person from a different household, so long as it is outdoors and they maintain a distance of 2 metres.

 

3. Being under these lockdown conditions is sure to have made this Ramadaan different from previous Ramadaans. Can you tell us how this Ramadaan is different? Things that you had done previously in Ramadaan and now due to the lockdown you cannot do these activities?

 

Everyone around the world is feeling the difference this Ramadan compared to previous years, and so are we, for mostly the same reasons.

Where we have all been ordered into isolation within our households, this feels particularly strange in respect to the open, communal and sharing spirit of Ramadan. The most unimaginable part for me is that the Grand Mosques of Makkah and Madinah are empty, where thousands of people would have been standing shoulder to shoulder each Ramadan, collectively raising hands, shedding tears in Qiyam-al-Layl, or breaking fasts together after the Maghrib Adhaan in what is the most miraculous food clean-up ever within seconds! Even though I would not physically be a part of this, just knowing that it is not happening this year is the strangest feeling.

Not being able to participate in the joyful religious celebration that comes with Ramadan each year when we increase our time spent at the mosque, busily shop in our bustling supermarkets to make Iftaar for each other, and collectively share in the festivities and blessings with our families coming together, is all so strange in a not-so-nice way. In the last couple of years, we have been taking our kids on and off to the mosque with us when we go for Taraveeh and they have really enjoyed the experience, so again that is something we have missed this year.

 

Saudi arabia

4. Can you share a positive message/ impact that spending Ramadaan under these new conditions has brought about for you and/or your country?

 

There is goodness in everything from Allah for a believer, and this lockdown certainly has plenty of it. The most obvious for me during Ramadan was having my kids experience this blessed month so fully, for the first time. Both are under 10, so quite little still, and in London where Ramadan has been falling in the summer months lately, Maghrib has been well after their bedtime. Whilst they would stay up to do Iftaar with us on the weekends, it wasn’t possible on the weekdays, where they would fall asleep out of sheer tiredness from their long day at school, even on days when they really, really wanted to stay up to eat with us! This Ramadan we have celebrated Iftaar and done Maghrib together in Jama’ah as a family every single day. My husband and I do Fajr in Jama’ah together which is something quite special for us, but this year the kids have been able to get up several times and join us too. Both of them are keeping track of doing all their other prayers on time too, so that has also been possible due to being home all day in the lockdown. My son kept his 1st fast, as did so many of his friends, thanks to the lockdown, and I am so proud of him and all of the other kids. My feisty daughter also was not to be outdone by her older brother, and even though we had only agreed to a ‘half fast’ she remained resolute at both Dhuhr and Asr, when I tried to bring her food, and went all the way to Maghrib very cheerfully, much to my maternal anxiety. We had been lucky to go to Umrah earlier this year, and actually returned the very week the Umrah flights were cancelled. This was the children’s first time there together, so the experience was quite magical for them and us all as a family. To come back and then experience Ramadan fully at home like this was a huge bonus, cementing the things they had learnt and experienced just a few months ago.

The kids and I have been baking together which has been fun (messy and often a source of anxiety for me!) and we have goodies to look forward to each evening. Whenever my husband has been around him and I make Iftaar together, and that is always great, because not just is it more enjoyable to prepare, but also he is an excellent cook so the iftaar is always extra special! So certainly there is plenty of positivity and so much to be grateful for!

Cookiesonacloud

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Cambridgeshire, UK

1. What is your name and where are you from? (Country, City). (Current city where you are spending this Ramadaan).

I’m Fatima, originally from the city of lights called Karachi, located in Pakistan but I moved out of the country almost a decade ago. I lived and worked for a few years in Dubai before moving to England. Although I’ve lived in various different parts of the country, I’m currently living in Cambridgeshire, UK.

 

2. Can you tell us if you are in lockdown? How strict is the lockdown? What are you allowed to do in terms of movement?

Like all other countries, the government of UK has also implemented a lockdown and the residents are only expected to go out for essential work such as for groceries or for exercise whilst maintaining all the aspects of social distancing. The schools, restaurants, gyms, airports and all other such places have been temporarily closed for an uncertain time and everyone have been instructed to work from home. However, the key workers are allowed to go to work. 

In terms of strictness, my town seems to be alright but I believe things are more stricter in areas with dense population such as London and other busy cities. Roads are quite easy to drive around as there’s hardly any traffic, but going for groceries can be quite time consuming as it takes a lot of time due to queuing as social distancing needs to be ensured at all times. 

 

3. Being under these lockdown conditions is sure to have made this Ramadaan different from previous Ramadaans. Can you tell us how this Ramadaan is different? Things that you had done previously in Ramadaan and now due to the lockdown you cannot do these activities?

To be honest, Ramadan 2020 is not much different for me than compared to the years I’ve spent in the past few years. Having to live in Muslim minority areas with no family around and hardly any Muslim friends, we had minimum activity during the month of Ramadan and by this I mean, not getting to meet people as relatives live quite far. Moreover, due to the long fasting hours in the country as well as lack of proper dine in Halal options available in my local town, we hardly ever used to go to any restaurants for Suhoor or Iftaar. Therefore, there hasn’t been much impact on us this Ramadan, due to COVID-19. 

It was very rare that we got invited to any Iftaar parties, and even if we did, we had to drive for 1 hour – 1.5 hours or maybe more to reach the destination as most of the people we know live quite far. However, just a couple of months ago, my family and I have moved to Cambridgeshire as we wanted to be nearer to our faith mosque, and I was really looking forward to meeting new people locally but unfortunately, that couldn’t really happen so far. 

 

4. Can you share a positive message/ impact that spending Ramadaan under these new conditions has brought about for you and/or your country? 

Ramadan 2020 seems to be much quieter than the previous years and it’s totally a different change for all the Muslims around the globe, including those in England. Since people aren’t allowed to leave homes and have been strictly instructed to practice social distancing, all the mosques have been closed. Prayers or any religious gatherings are not being held, neither are Muslims inviting friends and family or visiting them for Iftaar. Also, since they’re spending more time at home, perhaps they’re getting more time to spend with the people in their households and for prayers and other religious activities that can be done from their own homes. 

During this time, I’d just say it’s better in terms of mental health to go with the flow and follow guidelines from the government rather than worrying about anything. Just take precautions, stay indoors and enjoy family time! 

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Birmingham, UK

1. What is your name and where are you from? (Country, City). (Current city where you are spending this Ramadaan).

My name is Fleurance Dinh and i currently live in Birmingham, UK.

 

2. Can you tell us if you are in lockdown? How strict is the lockdown? What are you allowed to do in terms of movement?

We are in lockdown, we are allowed to go out for necessary things like food shopping, we are also allowed outside to breathe fresh air but we personally don’t. We have a garden alhamdulillah so we have been enjoying it most days.

 

3. Being under these lockdown conditions is sure to have made this Ramadaan different from previous Ramadaans. Can you tell us how this Ramadaan is different? Things that you had done previously in Ramadaan and now due to the lockdown you cannot do these activities?

For sure, this ramadan is very different: husband doesn’t go taraweeh everyday, I don’t go out to eat iftar with my friends or at the mosque. These are the things we cannot do this year. Kids are at home all day everyday and that’s not easy when they are 5 ! alhamdulillah ! It is mentally tiring.

 

4. Can you share a positive message/ impact that spending Ramadaan under these new conditions has brought about for you and/or your country? 

On a positive note, because kids do not go to school, I don’t have to drop them, so I can stay more up at night, and sleep in more during day time. So this year I am less tired physically. Kids are going to islamic school so they already were encouraged to fast, but being at home everyday, I think it’s easier for them because iftar is late here: about 8.50pm today. They won’t be tired tomorrow like they would have been if they had to go to school. So the fast is more relaxed than previous years. 
Thank you Fleurance for sharing your Ramadaan experience with us. You may get in touch with Fleurance from muslimfamilytravel via the platforms below:
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