For many Muslims around the world, the holy month of Ramadan is the most wonderful month of the year. However, it is inevitable that the notion “holy month in quarantine” will be in all of our agenda. It’s not just about abstaining from food and drink from dawn to dusk. Ramadan is also a holy month of spiritual cleansing, religious reflection. Further, in normal times, it means plenty of socializing.
Although admittedly, the lack of food and drink makes Ramadan particularly challenging. It’s one of the favorite months of the year for Muslim people. It lovely knowing that millions of Muslims are practicing the same rituals. Doing their best to focus on bettering themselves and their relationship with God. Plus, there’s the added bonus of seeing all Muslim friends at iftar (breakfast) parties while enthusiastically enjoying a smorgasbord of delicious food. So, there is an invisible emotional bridge among Muslim people all around the world. And there is a spirit of solidarity in the basement of this bridge. However, with this year’s social distancing measures, Ramadan celebrations will look a little different than usual.
Most of us have come to terms with the fact that this year’s Ramadan will be devoid of Taraweeh (Teravi in Turkish) prayers at the mosque and food-filled social gatherings. But just because we can’t breakfasts nor pray together doesn’t mean that we can’t still stay connected.
In fact, because of the deliberate effort, we’ll be making to stay grounded and connected this Ramadan. It’s likely that this year might end up being the most unforgettable one. Yet—and not just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We can consider the challenges that come with the holy month in quarantine as benefits, so long as we shift our mindset.
Here are some advices to plan to make the most out of Ramadan while social distancing. Be sure that you can do the exact same.
Decorate Your Home
In most Muslim-majority countries around the world, lights and lanterns dot the streets as part of the Ramadan festivities. Many families decorate both the inside and outside of their houses as well. This year, get in the Ramadan spirit by decorating your house, even if you normally don’t. You can buy beautiful lanterns, lights, and signs from Etsy or Amazon, or even make your own. Decorations are already up at many houses. Further, the festive vibe makes people extra appreciative of how much time I’ll be spending here this year.
Pray Taraweeh at Home
Just because you can’t go to the mosque after iftar doesn’t mean you should forgo those extra nightly prayers. Instead, do them from the comfort of your home with whomever you’re quarantined with. Many mosques have taken to live-streaming Friday prayers and some will be doing the same for Taraweeh. Be sure to get in touch with your local mosque to access the prayer schedule.
Focus on Your Relationship With God
Although Ramadan is supposed to be a period of religious reflection and spirituality, this sometimes gets lost amid hectic schedules and dinner parties. This year, you can take advantage of all the extra time to reflect and pray. You can also finish all 30 parts of the Quran if you wish. Now, more than ever is the time to reconnect with faith and express gratitude for health and loved ones.
Get Some Extra Sleep
Sleep is precious on a normal day, but especially so during Ramadan when you can’t rely on caffeine to get you through early mornings and long commutes. However, now that most people are working from home, we can take advantage of our former commute. Thus, that means a time to get an extra hour of shut-eye. A good night’s sleep does wonders for your productivity and mood and makes the lack of caffeine that much more manageable.
Reconnect With Loved Ones
Take this time to reconnect with your loved ones—both the ones you’re quarantined with and those you haven’t seen in a while. You may be using this time to do video calls with friends and extended family I don’t see very often. Having “potlucks” might also be another option to enrich your Ramadan month and make it even more meaningful. No matter how you choose to connect with others, remember that it’s still possible to be together while staying physically apart.
Try New Recipes—Or Perfect Old Ones
One of the best things to come out of staying home during the holy month of Ramadan has been a seemingly endless amount of time to pursue activities. Consider doing different kinds of activities with your family. Set aside one night per week to cook something new. Or else, assign different nights to each member of the household to cook something up. It’s a fun way to get the whole family involved and it’s so much more rewarding than takeout.
Perhaps this is the year to form new traditions. With the world at a standstill, let’s make this a Ramadan where deep connection—both to ourselves and to others—is one of many unexpected benefits of sheltering in place.