Understanding Ramadan and What it Means for Muslims

It’s important to us that the boys know, understand and respect other cultures and religions. We have always been clear on the fact that what any individual believes (or not) is their choice but that in the same vein, others are allowed the same freedom to choose. School teach our children a lot about different religions and customs. It’s also up to us, as adults, to fill in the gaps for ourselves. This post may help a little with one religious period that is fast approaching, Ramadan.

RamadanLiving in a multicultural society means that we often hear about many occasions in different cultures that we may, perhaps, not know that much about. One such occasion that isn’t all that far away that will be marked by millions around the world, including the United Kingdom, is Ramadan which falls between 15 May and 14 June.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is regarded as one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar and is a period of reflection and a time where Muslims make extra opportunity to show faith in their religion. One of the most widely-known aspects of Ramadan is the fast that Muslims undertake during daylight hours.

From the first ray of sunlight until night has completely overtaken day, those fasting will abstain from food and drink. During the lunar month, which falls on different days each year, Muslims will wake early for breakfast (Suhoor) and break their fast at night for an evening meal (Iftar).

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, which is one of the biggest celebrations in Islam to mark the completion of Ramadan.

Ramadan Traditions

As well as the fasting that takes place during the month, there are a number of traditions that Muslims also follow. As charity makes up one of the obligatory five pillars of Islam, giving donations based on a percentage of profitable financial income, also known as zakat, can be made.

While Muslims are not duty-bound to pay zakat in the actual month of Ramadan, many choose this time as the ideal period to pay as it is the month of blessings. As the amount for each individual differs, Muslims are required to calculate their total zakat before making the donation. Further information on this practice can be found here: https://www.muslimaid.org/zakat-charity/

Nightly prayers are another tradition that many Muslims choose to follow during Ramadan, although this is Ramadannot compulsory, it is highly recommended. During these prayers, it is also common that the Holy Qur’an is recited in sections (each being 1/30 of the Holy Qur’an), meaning that it would have been recited in its entirety by the end of the month.

Not all Muslims Fast During Ramadan

Although the majority of Muslims do observe the fast during Ramadan, there are some who do not. There are various reasons as to why someone may not fast; this can be down to circumstantial or health-related matters (such as menstruation, pregnancy or illness). This results in a forfeit by way of payment to charity – also known as fidya.  

While children may be encouraged to fast, it is not compulsory that they take part. Only from the age of puberty are children expected to observe the fast.

Ramadan in Muslim Countries

In predominantly Muslim countries, such as the Middle East for example, it is common for shops and restaurants to only put on limited staff during the daytime and open up following the fast. In tourist hotspots such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, while visitors are encouraged to respect the religious practice by not eating and drinking in public places, they are still permitted to carry on as normal in private places such.

As temperatures in these countries can be extremely hot, soaring to upwards of 30°C, some local residents choose to sleep during the day to shorten the hours of the fast. Tourists are advised to make preparations should they travel during the month of Ramadan, taking into account the heat and restrictions, if any.

Around the world, roughly 93% of Muslims observe Ramadan, making the holy month a truly international event, culminating in one of the biggest celebrations on any calendar.

Hey PR companies, Mummy Bloggers have feelings too!

There are a lot of “Mummy Bloggers” (I’m not sure I like that title to be honest, parent bloggers is better as there are some fab blogging Dads out there!), around and about and we all blog for different reasons. Some blog purely for the love of it, to capture moments in life, their children’s life, to showcase their hobby and some do the same but also run their blog empire as a business. I’m a combination – I love blogging, love seeing my ramblings in black and white for all to read, but I also run C&C as a business, I make some money from it and mostly use it as a platform for my freelance writing work.

As a Mummy Blogger (MB) I get a lot of PR contact. This is always welcome, as reviews (that are relevant) can make great content, and the info you can get from PR companies can be a great base for features and articles.

However.. I am finding, with increasing frequency, that the contact I get from PR companies can vary from scatty to downright rude!

Three examples of recent emails (details changed about a little to preserve anonymity) include:

1)      “Hi Nick” <Bad start, it’s Nicki, but we’ll go with that being a typo. Then..“I have looked at your great blog and think we have the ideal product for you to review… our dog food….”. So either he is saying I am a bitch (!) or he is fibbing and hasn’t looked at my blog at all, as I don’t have a dog!

2)      I am asked to run a guest blog, or piece about a product but find myself chasing Twitter, Website, Facebook links and having to ask repeatedly for pictures / further info. It’s the kind of PR contact that makes you wonder why you agreed to work with them (Mummy bloggers don’t have time to run around like idiots finding this info anymore than journalists for magazines do).

3)      A personal-type email which is easy to read, comments on your recent posts, adds a personal comment about it, and is written by a PERSON not an autobot! I deal will several companies that I have built up a good relationship with and exchange almost chatty emails with now, but one PR company in particular from day one, has always contacted me this way, and it really does make a difference.

Now I don’t work in PR myself (obviously!), and I may be shooting myself in the foot somewhat here, but I hope not, as I would like to think someone in PR who is basically representing someone else’s brand to the world, would be big enough to take constructive criticism on the chin and maybe do something with it.

So just a little plea from a little Mummy Blogger.. remember that we all, regardless of the reason for our blogging, put a lot of time, effort and heart into our work, so please think about this when you contact us. It can make all the difference when working with someone, if you have mutual respect for each other.

Thank you!

All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove