Ramadan Kareem! There is much excitement in school this week as we celebrate the holy month of Ramadan and for many of our community, this may be their first Ramadan in the UAE. For new starters to our school this year and as a reminder to existing families, it may be prudent to remind ourselves of some of the things that happen during this sacred month in the Islamic calendar.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic (Hijri) calendar. It is the holiest month for Muslims as the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan. During this month, Muslims do not consume any food or drinks between Fajr and Maghrib prayers (at dawn and sunset). The goal of fasting is to develop self-restraint so that you may develop Taqwa, an Arabic word that describes a state of heart that motivates virtuous conduct. Ramadan however isn’t just about fasting from food. It is primarily about seeking a spiritual closeness to God. It is a time when we should think less about material things and focus more on charity, patience and being grateful for what we have, something we can all reflect on.
Iftar is when people break their fast and this is done when the sun sets, at Maghrib. Traditionally the fast is broken by drinking a glass of water, eating dates followed by a light meal. Suhour is the final meal before dawn with all eating and drinking stopping at Imsak, 10 minutes before dawn (Fajr).
Non-Muslims and younger children are allowed to eat and drink in private during the day, but we should be respectful at all times. An example of this is the way we have screened off eating spaces around school during the day and closed our communal eating areas as a sign of respect. You will see this replicated in shopping Malls with food and drink outlets throughout the country. Men and women are also expected to dress more modestly during Ramadan and your cooperation in respecting this when in school would be greatly appreciated.
Wishing everyone a blessed Ramadan in this Year of Tolerance.
Head of Primary