We want to make sure our Muslim students feel supported during this holy month. In this article, you can find some information and resources which we hope will help students participating in Ramadan during this time.
Here at Arts Students’ Union we understand that Ramadan will be different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
We want to make sure our Muslim students feel supported during this holy month. Below you can find some information and resources which we hope will help students practicing Ramadan during this time.
"We, the Elected Officer Team, would like to wish our Muslim students Ramadan Mubarak, and hope you and your families stay safe during this period! We are proud to have two full-time officers from Muslim backgrounds, and if you want to get in contact with us, we’d love to hear from you! "
Pinky Latt, Yasmeen Thantrey, Dylan Wilson and Eleanor West - Students' Union Officer Team 2020/21
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the month when the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Ramadan is a holy month of religious reflection and fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
5 Pillars of Islam:
Shahadah - the reciting and profession of the Islamic faith.
Salah – five daily prayers and performing ritual cleansing (wudu).
Zakat - giving to charity based on one’s wealth to help those less fortunate. Donations during Ramadan often hold much greater reward for the donor.
Sawm – the process of fasting during the month of Ramadan. There are exceptions as to who can take part in fasting, but it is expected if you are of good health and sound mind.
Hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca, which every able-bodied Muslim must do at least once in their lifetime.
During this month Muslims are encouraged to increase their good deeds, from acts of charity and community engagement, to increasing good values such as generosity, solidarity, kindness, patience and forgiveness.
How is Ramadan celebrated?
Ramadan is roughly a month long and is celebrated in many different ways.
As one of the 5 Pillars of Islam, Muslims who are able (those mature and in good health) keep a roza/ fast. This means not eating or drinking during daylight hours, usually having one meal directly after sunset (iftar) and another just before sunrise (suhoor).
The act of keeping a fast (roza) allows Muslims to feel a deeper connection to Allah (swt), understand what it means to go without, practice patience with themselves and others, and show compassion for those less fortunate than themselves. The act allows them to be truly grateful for what Allah (swt) has given them.
A huge part of Islam and Ramadan is charity. Zakat (the 3rd Pillar of Islam) requires Muslims to donate to charity throughout the year but is especially encouraged during Ramadan. The total donated during this time is calculated based on 2.5% of the persons total wealth.
Ramadan is also a time where there is a focus on prayer. During this month Muslims take part in Taraweeh, an evening prayer usually performed during Ramadan after the 5th daily prayer. A lot of time is dedicated to reading the Qur'an during this time also.
COVID-19 and Ramadan
Last year we saw how difficult it was for Muslims everywhere to connect with their communities during this holy month. With restrictions easing in England, we encourage our students to safely reconnect with their loved ones if, and when they feel comfortable to, in line with government guidelines.
The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) have consulted Imams and Muslim scholars who have concluded that your fast/roza is not affected by getting a COVID vaccination and are encouraging Muslims to not turn down getting vaccinated because of Ramadan. More information can be found here. Your local Imam will be able to advise you further on this issue and ease worries you may have.
Don't forget that we do have an Islamic Society which we are very keen to grow in membership and support, having unfortunately been inactive this year. If you would be interested in joining the society, please fill in our registering interest form here:
The University Chaplaincy is still reaching out to students as much as possible and can provide digital support and updates through their website.
The Revd Mark Dean is our University’s Chaplain and Interfaith Advisor and is available via email to discuss any issues students may be having and share his expertise. Contact the reverend on M.W.D@arts.ac.uk
Support while Studying
If you find that fasting is affecting your ability to study and prepare for your exams or that an exam was affected, please speak to your Course Leader, Personal Tutor, UAL Wellbeing Service or Students’ Union Advice Team.
Ramadan Useful Information:
London Ramadan Calendar 2021
Islamic Finder provides a timetable for Sehar & Iftar times for this year's Ramadan.
Muslim Council of Britain Resources
The Muslim Council of Britain have published a helpful document for supporting you through Ramadan and COVID-19. It gives you some top tips about celebrating safely during the lockdown easing and advice on how Ramadan will be affected this year. They also have a Facebook page that provides you will lots of relevant information.
More information on Zakat
If you are looking for some more information or want to calculate your Zakat here are some resources:
Eventbrite have a plethora of digital events going ahead that you can register for and attend from home. The majority of these are free for all to access.
Here is a useful Ramadan Planner which includes daily checklists and verses.