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Ramadan Diaries – From Ramadan in Makkah to Lockdown in London

Editor’s Note:

Covid-19 Ramadan is really different. Throughout the holy month, we will be publishing diaries shared by our network of writers and contributors. Their reflections on challenges, lessons or blessings they find in this extraordinary Ramadan will surely resonate with you.

Click here to share your diary with us!

Anyone who has experienced Ramadan in a Muslim country will tell you that there is nothing like it. From the pre-ramadan buzz of getting prepared to the daily iftar signaled by a cacophony of multiple adhaan—bliss! This April marked exactly one year since my family moved back to the UK from Makkah.

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It’s only understandable I was feeling a little underwhelmed with the prospect of spending the holy month within the confines of a typical routine. 

We had our reasons for coming back, of course: more time with family, better education for the children and even greater mobility for myself—I could finally own a car! And then boom.

The world was hit with COVID-19. No family, no schools and certainly no driving around. In the words of Captain Algren, the Last Samurai, “I am beset by the ironies of my life.” 

We have now had six weeks of lockdown. Six weeks of staying indoors (Alhamdulillah for gardens!) navigating the highs and lows of being in familial company all day, every day. Amidst the turmoil, Ramadan has entered.  

Yet this Ramadan has been far from being the average, cheerless Ramadan I anticipated. This year our beautiful guest has brought with it more peace and serenity than I could have hoped for. It has delivered a chance to finally slow down; to pay attention to myself, to my inner-state, to reflect and count my blessings.

Blessings in Disguise 

To begin with, lockdown means there is no stress over early mornings getting ready for school. Fasting has been made easier for the children as they are at home and I have more time to spend reading the Qur’an with them. 

As for many mothers in the UK, Tarawih Prayers were set to be a quiet affair at home once children were put to bed as opposed to a social gathering of Ibadah. But with the masjid closed, we have the unique opportunity to pray as a family every evening.

Moreover, my eldest son is leading his first Tarawih Prayers and enjoying it! The home atmosphere is focused on worship and is far from lonely in a time of isolation (a happy irony.) The relationship being nurtured and built is the one with Allah. Is this time another gift from Him? 

Allah is Al Wahhab 

Our spiritual state ebbs and flows, but Allah knows our heart. He gives us exactly what we need, when we need it because He is Al-Wahhab: The giver of all, the giver of gifts; the one who gives from His generosity expecting nothing in return.

If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].”

Ibrahim 14:7

There is no denying that this lockdown has brought challenges for everyone in one way or another. Still, looking hard enough, we see it is also bringing individual lessons. Personally, I am reminded not to feel despondent and to make the best of every situation.

The whole earth has been created as a place of prayer and Allah hears our duas and pleas no matter where in the world we are – Ramadan in the UK can be just as uplifting and spiritually rewarding as one in a Muslim country if we allow it to be!

We are gifted with a time of renewal and an opportunity to deepen our connection with Allah. Now, when the whole world has been brought to its knees, is the perfect time to ask Him for our every wish. Nothing is too small, too impossible, too silly or trivial when you’re asking Al-Wahhab.

May He grant you all your own beautiful blessings in this period that will bring you closer to Him and His remembrance.