Ramadan 2020- Under Lockdown #stayathomeforramadan



Ramadan 2020- Under Lockdown



The Muslim Holy month of Ramadan started around 23/24th April. It is a time to remember the month that the Muslim holy book the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad pbuh(peace be upon him).


Muslims abstain from food and water during daylight hours as a way of devoting themselves to their faith and getting closer to Allah.

Every evening when the sun has set, families and friends get together for the Iftar meal to break the fast and many people go to the mosque to pray. However we are living in unprecedented times and with the global uncertainty around Covid-19 the safety measures governments worldwide have undertaken are beginning to have an impact not just on a macro level but also on micro level in our homes.


Being under lockdown has forced us all to stop, slow down and reflect on our lives. For some it has been inspiring but for others painful. We are all learning new things about ourselves and others in particular within our families.  Couples may be realizing irritating habits about each other. Parents are recognising just how hard teachers work as they grapple with getting their children to study and focus. It is natural that we may end up getting on each other’s nerves a bit more right now with more arguments, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. That doesn’t mean however that we can’t adapt and learn to settle into this new normality with a more balanced approach. As a support for parents under lockdown with young families the World Health Organisation has set up a useful webpage with information sheets and useful parenting tips click on the link below:




Advice to Muslims


The Muslim Council of Britain, the largest umbrella organisation for Muslims in Britain, has published online guidance to help millions cope with the restrictions of lockdown during the coming fasting month of Ramadan.

It says this year’s Ramadan will be “a very different experience for Muslims as we adapt to changing circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

With lockdown continuing, there will be no congregational prayers or acts of worship outside the home, no group iftars (usually a huge ritual meal marking the breaking of the fast after sundown) with friends and family to attend.

Instead, the MCB is offering guidance on how to arrange virtual iftars online with loved ones and community members by using video chat. Please note that if you are suffering with symptoms of COVid-19 then fasting will further compromise your physical health. There are exemptions from fasting for the sick, elderly, breast feeding mothers, and pregnant women. If you are unwell then you can use this exemption and make up the fasts at a later stage when you recover. MCB has offered further guidance on this alongside other information with the NHS:

For more info click the link below;




Global Changes


Around Ramadan time millions travel to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia however this year due to the Coronavirus the city has been restricted, with Mecca’s Grand Mosque temporarily closed in March for a deep clean in a bid to reduce the spread of the disease. The mosque has since reopened, but with strict rules in place, and there is still uncertainty around whether or not the annual pilgrimage to Mecca for Hajj will go ahead or not. Saudi Arabia may or may not allow mass pilgrimages to proceed amid the current pandemic. This year hajj is expected to take place around July. However Muslims are being asked to delay booking due to Covid-19.


Changes in the Home


As a Muslim woman I am noticing the profound impact Covid-19 is having on Ramadan and on the Muslim community under lockdown which is quite significant.

To bring it home and show on a micro scale just how COVid-19 has impacted us a Muslim family please read the diary style entries below:


I am married with 3 teenagers a husband and a baby parrot to look after. I work two part time jobs as a Fosterline Advisor and a Counsellor in split shifts. Both of these work places have allowed me to work from home under the current COvid-19 lockdown measures. As such I find myself actually busier than I normally would be due to running a busy family household and maintaining two jobs. In this section I will be focusing on Ramadan and sharing examples of life during Ramadan last year and this year in lockdown currently to highlight the significant issues and impact it may be having on Muslims across the world.



Inside my home on a typical Ramadan Day


In the days running up to Ramadan we go on a a big supermarket shop to ensure essential ingredients for the upcoming month. We begin preparing spiritually by focusing on prayer and Quran recitation and encourage the children to do the same.

There is excitement about the start of Ramadan, checking the news and looking out for the crescent moon which indicates the start of Ramadan. Hubby attends mosque for congregational prayers at sunset wherein the imams and mosques across the country announce that the moon has been sighted and Ramadan is due to commence the next day. Special Tarawih prayers are then commenced in mosques with the night prayer Isha on a daily basis throughout the holy month of Ramadan with Muslims congregating together.


At around 3am as a family we set the alarm and wake up to eat Suhoor (the night meal before dawn prayers and fasting begins) This is usually breakfast type foods such as yogurt, fruits, cereal, toast, or in some more traditional families rice, pasta or chapattis and curry. Lots of water to drink as well.


Around 4am (prayer timings shift depending on sunrise/sunset) the fast begins and Fajr (dawn prayer) commences. This is often prayed in congregation in the mosques.


7am the alarm goes off for everyone and the rush to get ready for school and work begins. Hubby and I tag team to drive the kids to school and back daily and travel onwards to our offices for work. Whilst fasting in daylight hours Muslims do not eat, drink or have any sexual contact throughout the day and observe their 5 daily prayers. We also pay zakat every Ramadan which is a charity sum of monies to the poor and needy. Many donations are made in mosque after prayer times.


Fajr at dawn

Zuhr just after midday

Asr Mid afternoon

Maghrib at sunset

Isha at night


3pm back on the school run to collect the kids and bring them home still fasting so no tea for the kids we all clean up and pray zuhr, recite the holy Quran and might take a nap or spend time reading or watching Ramadan TV channels. Kids complete any chores and homework from school.


4-7pm I go to my Counselling Practice and see clients in my office.


6pm hubby gets home and helps with chores.


7pm we pray Asr.


7:30pm I begin to prepare the Iftaar meal (fast opening meal)


We open the fast at Maghrib time at sunset which is currently around 8:30pm with water, dates and fruits and cultural foods like samosa’s, pakora’s, rice, chickpeas etc.

We pray Maghrib prayers after opening the fast.


9:40pm Current time for night prayers women and children usually pray at home however they can attend local mosques that have a womens room to pray in congregation. Men and boys pray Isha and Tarawih in congregation at mosque.


After night prayers we sleep for a short while and then wake up for Suhoor around 3am and the cycle begins again.


During the weekends I send my son to mosque for Arabic lessons and then we go shopping, socializing and visiting friends and family to send food and wish others Ramadan Mubarak (Happy Ramadan) messages to fellow Muslims in the community. We have joint family iftaar meals at family homes all bringing a dish and eating together.


Inside my home during Ramadan under Lockdown due to Corona Virus


In the days running up to Ramadan I have tried unsuccessfully to order online groceries no delivery slots available so hubby and I go on a big supermarket shop to ensure essential ingredients for the upcoming month wearing gloves and leaving the children at home. We observe social distancing to ensure safety whilst shopping and do not go anywhere else just shop and home.


We prepare spiritually by focusing on prayer and Quran recitation and encourage the children to do the same. The excitement about the start of Ramadan is more subdued we cannot go out to see friends or family, the mosques are closed and this has a significant impact on morale. We eagerly wait for mosques across the country to announce online that the moon has been sighted and Ramadan is due to commence the next day but cannot go out to celebrate with family or pray together as mosques are closed and we are observing social distancing. One of the main components of Ramadan is to offer congregational prayers in mosque daily with the special Ramadan Tarawih night prayers which currently cannot take place so Muslim families are finding themselves praying at home with family. This does have its own benefits and is bringing families closer spiritually.


Many mosques are streaming live online lectures, prayers and Quran recitation to fill the void and this is being taken up by the Muslim community within the confines of their homes. I have gone online and used these useful resources and there are Islamic classes online as well.


At around 3am as a family we set the alarm and wake up to eat Suhoor (the night meal before dawn prayers and fasting begins) this part of the routine remains the same.


Around 4am (prayer timings shift depending on sunrise/sunset) the fast begins and Fajr (dawn prayer) commences. This is now prayed at home not in congregation.


7am no alarm goes off because nobody is rushing to get ready for the commute to school and work. (This is a blessing of the lockdown for us as a family) Hubby and I set up our work laptops to start the day around 8:30am and the children sleep in until a bit later and are woken up to start the day with prayers and school work. We spend as much time as we can in the garden to get fresh air and a change of scenery. We observe our 5 daily prayers at home as a family and recite the Quran and study our faith in books online and via classes. We still pay our zakat but instead of the daily donations offered in mosques during prayers with the mosques shut we are now making online payments to charities to ensure this pillar of our faith is not overlooked and the poor and needy are still being taken care of.


2pm I switch of my work PC having completed my shift and check the children have completed their daily quota of school work. We pray Zuhr, after this they can relax, spend time watching TV or playing out in the garden or reading their books and going online to catch up with their friends. We are still fasting so no tea for anyone, we all pray, recite the holy Quran and might take a nap or spend time reading.


4-7pm I go online to support my Counselling clients in my home office using video call/telephone for therapy.


7pm we pray Asr at home


7:30pm I begin to prepare the Iftaar meal (fast opening meal)


We open the fast at sunset which is currently around 8:30pm and then pray Maghrib prayers at home after opening the fast.


9:40pm Current time for Isha night prayers everyone is home and we all pray inside our homes whilst under lockdown all mosques remain closed.


After night prayers we sleep for a short while and then wake up for Suhoor around 3am and the cycle begins again.


During the weekends under lockdown we only go out for essential food items milk, bread, eggs and fruit. We cannot visit friends or family due to social distancing and have not been able to have our usual family get togethers for iftaar meals. All Ramadan Mubarak messages have been via online methods on social media and text messages. Online resources are keeping the community going. Even though we will be living in isolation or with close family during these difficult times, we will still be doing this together as Muslims. This fact should offer some peace to the hearts of Muslims as we remain united in our fasting and worship of God during Ramadan.



Eid-ul-fitr is the big celebration at the end of Ramadan where families usually come together to celebrate the month’s blessings and usually there are big gatherings, parties, and families visiting. However this year Eid will be a very different affair.


Inside my home on a typical Eid Day


Wake up on Eid morning have a shower and eat a lovely cooked breakfast then get dressed up in new clothes bought specially for Eid  and get ready for dawn prayers at mosque and pray special Eid prayers.


After Eid prayers get the whole family ready and set off for family homes to spend the time together celebrating, we often squeeze in a trip to a restaurant, local park or cinema as well so the children enjoy the day. We also give out Eid gifts to family and friends and share food.


Inside my home on Eid under Lockdown


Wake up on Eid morning have a shower and eat a lovely cooked breakfast then get dressed up in new clothes ordered online for Eid as all clothes shops are closed. All prayers are prayed within the home.

After Eid prayers we spend the day at home and in the garden celebrating virtually with Facetime / Video call options to see family and share food and clothes photos. No trips out to the cinema or restaurants. Maybe order online take away if needed and any Eid gifts for family members outside the home will have to wait until after lockdown to be given out.  No sharing of food we just cook and eat our own as a family unit within the home.


Staying at home does not mean that you press pause on your life, it’s important to maintain a routine and continue to live as full a life as possible. In fact it’s a good time to start new habits and learn new things as you may have more time on your hands than before. Try learning a new skill, like cooking, baking or knitting (there are lots of videos on YouTube to help you get started on this). You can register to learn a new language or take online classes, or courses in your chosen area of interest. Do some research on what’s out there and make the most out of your time before we are hurled back into the hustle bustle of commuting, school runs, office visits and far flung meetings.


Stay in touch with friends and family as well as work colleagues via social media and online video calling options it’s important to stay socially engaged in this time as loneliness can creep in as we self- isolate and social distance ourselves. This new version of normal is only temporary so as well as adapting and adjusting to the change take advantage of it as well. With modern technology we still have the capacity to stay connected online and that in itself is a blessing. Remember that although you maybe in isolation socially you may still have family members living with you at home so make the most out of this time that you all have together.


Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, so just as we should be eating, drinking, sleeping and exercising well under lockdown we must take care of our mental, emotional and spiritual health. Keeping the mind focused on daily routines means that there is less space or time for ruminating or over analyzing the negative thoughts that can invade our minds. Being under lock down can feel overwhelming for some so if you feel it is all getting a bit too much, try listening to something soothing like a meditation, calming music or if you are a Muslim recitation of the the Quran can help as it helps ease the mind and heart.


If you live with extended family and it feels too busy or crowded you can go for a walk to clear your head but be sure to observe social distancing and avoid crowded areas. Take the necessary precautions with maintaining hygiene. Getting some fresh air for a short while offers a change of scenery and is good for your mental health. Just as some are suffering with loneliness alone at home others are struggling with little to no space or privacy due to everyone in a large family being coped up together. So be mindful of each other’s space and be kind.




“Without opening your door,

you can open your heart to the world.”


– Lao Tzu 




Useful Tips and Advice


If things feel too much to manage and you need additional support it may be worth reaching out to professional services for support. The NHS has set up a useful website called Every Mind Matters for therapeutic mental health support online.




If you are a Muslim struggling with this lockdown try some of the following tips:


  1. Dedicate time to the Qur’an – No matter how little Arabic you know you can still learn to recite the Quran, or read the English translation, or even listen to the Quran online. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“The fast and the Qur’an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: ‘O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.’ The Qur’an will say: ‘I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.’ And their intercession will be accepted.” Hadith Narrated by Ahmad. (Hadiths are sayings of the prophet pbuh)


  1. Send Praise and Salutations to the Prophet Mohamed (pbuh)

Salawat is the invocation of peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). There importance is highlighted in the Holy Qur’an as follows:

Verily, God and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender! –Holy Qur’an 33:56


  1. Give Charity

Giving charity is one of the pillars of Islam namely Zakat which is cleansing the wealth by offering 2.5% of ones total savings in wealth to the poor and needy. Other forms of charity such as spending time with family, the elderly, planting trees, sharing food and water and supporting charitable causes all count.


  1. Forgive Others and Ask Forgiveness from others and Allah

Ramadan is a month of blessings when the reward for our good deeds is multiplied and our sins are also forgiven. It is the best time in the Islamic calendar to seek forgiveness. Forgiving others with a view to reconcile differences is as much an act of generosity as giving to charity. In a hadith, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honor, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.” –Sahih Muslim


  1. Prophet’s Sunnah is to eat in moderation for a healthy diet. Avoid sugary refined foods, limit salty greasy foods and have more fresh fruit and wholesome foods. The Prophet (ﷺ) is known to have said that if a believer must fill his stomach, then he/she should do so with ‘one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’ (Sahih)
  2. Have Courage- we have seen how this pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. What is your best? We have medical professions in healthcare risking their lives daily for our safety. We too can help by checking in on the elderly in our communities, bringing food to someone in quarantine, making donations to local food banks etc. Where there’s a will there’s a way and help is needed so in your own capacity help in whatever way you can- whilst of course following recommended safety guidelines.You can carry your family through this crisis, by encouraging positivity, emotional wellbeing, and lifting the spirits of those in your social networks.
  3. Get creative on social media or within your own family networks send out Ramadan blogs/ recipes/ prayer online. Offer online opportunities to connect over a virtual iftaar with family and friends. Share games and fact sheets.
  4. Some mosques have gone online to offer live calls to prayer every day and Islamic talks, look up your local mosques to see what facilities they offer online.


I wish all my brothers and sisters in Islam a blessed Ramadan may all your prayers be answered, all your sins be forgiven and may Allah grant you and your families good health, wealth and happiness.


Kamarun Kalam

Fosterline Advisor