The Holy Month of Ramadan is a religious observance by Muslims all over the world. It is the most sacred time in the Islamic calendar and spent by renewing spirituality – in the form of prayers, fasting, good deeds, reflection, charity and community service. The start and end dates vary in different countries depending on lunar cycle. In the UAE, the beginning of Ramadan this year is likely to fall around the 23rd of April.
Wherever we are in the world, it is important that we respect the culture and tradition of the country that we live in and people that we live with. As parents, we have a responsibility to teach our children on how we are all alike and different. All the more if we live in a diverse community.
Tolerance and consideration start from home, as the do’s and don’ts during the Holy Month should also be taught at home. If you live in an Arab country like the UAE, Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, Arabic classes are most likely compulsory in your children’s school. We can work with professionals to strengthen children’s cultural understanding. Though Muslim children do not have to fast, one of the most important duties of Ramadan, until they reach puberty, being mindful no matter the age to those who practice is always a good thing.
While non-Muslims are generally well aware of what’s allowed and what’s not during Ramadan, here are some tips that you can teach or experience with your kids:
- Wear respectful clothing
- Teach them the importance of charity by taking part in community initiatives
- Be a little more patient and flexible especially to those who are observing
- Experience breaking the fast and celebrating Eid with Muslims, it’s fun!
- Take a trip to a mosque and show kids a beautiful sight of people praying (once we can)
- Eating, drinking, chewing gum in public during the day are frowned upon
- Explain why playing and listening to loud music at this time is not nice
We must keep in mind that children are keen observers and they mimic what the adults do.
You can find some fun activities for the kids during Ramadan over on QiDZ!
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