Ramadan: an interview with Hem
This week, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan has begun. Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims, during which they fast (no food or drink) from dawn until dusk.
Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims as it is during Ramadan that the Qur’an, the holy book for Muslims, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by Allah (God). The blessings for a person’s good actions are multiplied in this month, and so you are likely to see Muslims not only fasting but also doing more charitable work and striving to improve their character and relationships with others.
We caught up with our colleagues to find out more about Ramadan, and what it’s like to fast:
What’s your name and where do you work?
My name is Hemehra and I work in Internal Audit in the Birmingham office.
What does Ramadan mean to you?
Time to reflect, build up my spirituality and learn something new. This year, I plan to try and memorise a chapter from the Qur’an (The Holy Book for Muslims) as well as learn more about my religion so that I can put it into practice.
How do you structure your day in Ramadan?
Wake up normal for work (lie in compared to “normal days”) – 7:30am and go about my working day as usual. When I get back home from work, I pray and recite the Qur’an, before taking a short nap and then going to the gym. Once I return, I prepare for Iftar (the evening meal to break thefast with). After some food, I will get ready to go to the mosque for the night night prayer. By the time I get back from home from the prayers, not much time is left until the fast begins again, so I recite more Qur’an or read extra voluntary prayers before preparing for the pre-dawn meal again.
What do you look forward to the most in Ramadan?
Look forward to the opportunity of doing more good. I love the night prayers, the coming together of people for one purpose.
Any advice for colleagues who are not fasting?
Be yourself, don’t worry about eating in front of us. Be slightly mindful if you find us at a slower pace than usual.
How do you celebrate Eid (the celebration to mark the end of Ramadan)?
A nice early start, half the cooking is done the night before. We make way to the mosque for Eid prayer, and have a family breakfast, before cooking more and hosting for the family and ensuring plenty of games for the children.