Due to the recent hardships we are all facing together, I figured I’d start my article with a little greeting. 

So here it goes: Ramadan Mubarak to everyone! I hope you all are healthy and safe, and inshaAllah (God-willing) we will all get through this together.

In the past few weeks, we have seen how this pandemic has taken over our get-togethers, birthday celebrations, outdoor events, weddings, funerals, and even religious holidays. All of us are slowly adapting to the new lifestyle changes that we hope don’t last long. On Easter, the annual egg hunt had to be done indoors. Passover dinners had to be over Zoom, as families could not gather together in celebration. And now Ramadan will join those holidays, with our commute to taraweeh (additional prayers performed during Ramadan) being limited to the square feet of our homes. As quarantine has brought out the foodie within us, adapting to fasting will be quite a challenge. During the day, rather than eating or cooking three meals, we will have to find other ways to keep ourselves occupied. I myself have been looking for different things I could do to make the most of my Ramadan at home. 

Here are some ways to make the best of our Ramadan despite the limitations we face this year. 

  1. Creating a prayer room 

During Ramadan we see more people going to their local mosques for prayer, and since the mosques are closed now, we can take this opportunity to create a prayer room in our homes. 

Creating a space to pray the five daily prayers will bring comfort to our hearts as it does when we enter the mosque. It is almost similar to finding a quiet study place to focus on studying for tests and exams, but instead, it is a space to worship our Lord.

2. Praying taraweeh together at home 

Many people look forward to coming together and praying taraweeh. This year, that tradition doesn’t need to stop, as we can pray taraweeh together as a family in our homes, within our prayer rooms. This can be a great way to spend time with your family during the holy month, and will encourage you to read more Qur’an as well. 

3. Learning about Islam together 

The month of Ramadan is a time of reflection and growth with your deen. Being surrounded by your family, you can take this time to learn more about Islam together, whether it’s through Zoom or within your living room. With so many online resources, we can engage in listening and learning about the stories of the Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) and the Sahabas (companions of the Prophet) so we could apply their teachings into our lives. 

I understand that not everyone may feel like home is a safe place for them to practice Islam and to those individuals, don’t worry. There are so many Imams putting out virtual khutbahs that you can tune into. This year, take the time to try and learn more about your religion to strengthen your faith in Islam. 

Here are my favourite virtual lectures available for free: 

  • Nightly Reflection with Omar Suleiman: Omar Suleiman is an Imam in Dallas as well as the founder of Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. Every night for about 20 minutes, he does a daily reflection. You can join in live on Facebook with many other brothers and sisters around the world, or catch up right before bed on any of his social media platforms. 
  • Many local Imams also come on virtually, all you have to do is check your local mosque’s website. 
  • And here at MY Voice, we invite you to join in virtually on conversations every Sunday for about 30 minutes to discuss our lives during quarantine through Zoom. You can find the Zoom links on our social media platforms! 

4. Decorating our homes for Ramadan

For many years, I have always been in awe over the festiveness of different holidays. Whether it is Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, or St. Patrick’s Day, decorations are everywhere to get people in the mood. Now with Ramadan being different this year, why not decorate our homes to get us in the mood? With time on our hands, we could make our homes feel magical for this miraculous month. It is also a great way to get kids involved in some fun creative activities. 

Here are some decorations you could add to your houses: 

5. Creating Ramadan journals

As Ramadan is a great time to solidify our good habits and get rid of our bad ones, keeping track of them in Ramadan journals is a great way to utilize this holy month. If not now, then when? Quarantine has been great for many to be able to focus on themselves by engaging in daily journals, so Ramadan during quarantine would be the perfect time to focus on yourself and your deen. There are many different types of journals you can have to help in different aspects of your life. This is a great tool for anyone, regardless of your age. 

Here are some Ramadan Journal Ideas: 

  • Salah Tracker → Where you can keep track of your prayers. It’s a great idea for children as well to make sure they pray their daily prayers on time. 
  • Gratitude Journal → This can help you focus on the good things in your life, making you much happier and thankful to Allah for all the blessings He gives us. 
  • Healthy Iftar Journal → If your goal during Ramadan is to start a healthier lifestyle, having this journal is a great way to plan healthy meals and keep a track of different healthy recipes for you to try out. 
  • Dua Journal → This is a great way to make a list of duas you have and a great way to learn new duaas. 
  • Hadith Journal → A great way to reflect on hadiths and apply them in your own life. 

6. New Iftar Ideas

Now, don’t think I forgot about one of the highlights of our day during Ramadan, Iftar. Iftar is the time we sit together and break our fast at sunset. It is the perfect time to sit down with your family and make dua before breaking your fast. 

Iftar with family and friends via Zoom 

  • In prior years, many families have Iftar parties where they invite family and friends over to break-fast together. However, due to our current circumstances, this isn’t something we can engage in this year. With technology, we can have the next best thing: virtual Iftar parties via Zoom. You could create your very own Zoom call and have all your family and friends join in to collectively break your fast and eat a great meal. 

Try New Iftar Dishes 

  • With so many people trying new recipes during self-isolation, you could try making new dishes for Iftar. You can find new healthy recipes, packed with all the nutrients you need to energize your day and create something new for your family. Sure, it will be a bit of a challenge not being able to test anything as you cook, but it would be a great way to spend time with family and also have some really good food to break your fast. You could even jot the recipe down after in your Ramadan Journal for future reference, maybe even make your very own Iftar cookbook. 

Here are some iftar dishes: 

And a dessert to top off: 

Though this Ramadan will be a different one compared to our previous Ramadans, know that there are many ways to make the most of it with the circumstances. Not being able to gather together to celebrate and experience Ramadan only makes us more grateful for something we have always overlooked. May Allah give us ease in this time and allow us to make the most of this holy month. 

With that being said, I hope this article reaches you well. 

Assalamu Alaikum, 

Sabra Ismath 

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