Ramadan begins this week
The Diversity and Inclusion Team caught up with Asmaa Al Tameemi, from the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, and Osman Hassan, from Campus Services, who shared with us about the importance of Ramadan and what this time represents for practicing Muslims. Plus inclusive guidance to follow to support students and colleagues.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar and marks the time when the Quran is said to have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad by God with a month-long fast. During Ramadan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and build stronger relationships with Allah (their lord). They do this by fasting every day from dawn to sunset, praying and reciting the Quran (the central religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation from God), making their actions intentional and selfless, and abstaining from things considered to be impure for the body and mind (negative thoughts and emotions – complaining, gossiping, lying, and swearing).
Why is fasting important to Muslim?
Fasting in Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The practice of fasting serves as an act of worship, a reminder of the body’s fragility and Muslims’ dependence on Allah for sustenance. Through fasting, Muslims feel what is like to be hungry and thirsty, and through this alignment, they learn to have more compassion for the poor and less fortunate. It is about nourishing their soul, rather than only focusing on their physical body. "It is the one thing that God asks of us and that is why Ramadan is so special. This is actually a month of cleansing your sins." The fasting from dawn to dusk is central to Muslim holy month and its purpose is to develop Allah's awareness (God-consciousness).
What is a typical day like during Ramadan?
During Ramadan, there is an increased offering in prayers to Allah, and those taking part would wake up well before dawn to eat the first meal of the day, which must last until sunset. They will usually eat a big meal so that they would not feel hungry throughout the day. This means eating lots of high-protein foods and drinking as much water as possible right up until dawn, after which you are not allowed to eat or drink anything.
Why do the dates of Ramadan change every year?
The start of Ramadan fluctuates each year because the lunar Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon. The beginning and end of Ramadan are decided by a moon sighting committee in Saudi Arabia. Taking place approximately 10 -11 days earlier than it did the previous year. Therefore, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and it shifts with respect to other religious calendars.
Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed Ramadan.
We would like to wish all colleagues and students Ramadan Kareem. We hope this Ramadan brings you happiness and peace. Wishing you a blessed Ramadan that will inspire you with courage and strength to help you win every challenge of life! Stay safe and spend time doing something you enjoy with your families. We wish you all the very best for this Ramadan festive season 2023.
Inclusive Guidance for Ramadan
- LJMU has multi-faith rooms for students and staff of all faiths and non-faiths for prayer and quiet reflection. You can find more details about these spaces here.
- Be mindful of arranging any events or activities during this time for staff and students, particularly if food is involved.
- We encourage students and staff to take regular breaks and staff are encouraged to be flexible for colleagues and students during Ramadan, to allow for prayer and worship needs.
- Managers may want to consider arranging rotas for those fasting, and/or allow those who do not have to be based onsite to be allowed to work from home. Managers should be prepared for people to make annual leave requests to observe Ramadan and celebrate Eid.
Are you a student looking to join the LJMU Islamic Society (ISoc)?
LJMU ISoc is a society for all students from all backgrounds to come and learn more about Islam and share the culture of Muslims from across the globe. They hold regular Islamic talks/classes; social events for brothers to get to know each other, and likewise for sisters to meet up and interact with each other. Click here to join.
New to the city and looking for a spiritual community in Liverpool?
Feel free to reach out to our chaplaincy team. LJMU has chaplains from multiple faiths who are there to offer you a helping hand if needed. All the chaplains are friendly, approachable, and willing to talk about anything from exploring faith and spirituality to pastoral care.
Want to find out more how you can support colleagues and students?
The D&I Team are proud to share about the Religion and Belief Workshop: Inclusive Approaches for Staff and Students taking place on 28th March 2023, 1:30pm – 4pm via Teams. Register here.