Ramadan Around the World

 

This month’s posts are all about Ramadan and helping others. Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims where they fast, give charity and improve themselves. If you want to know more about Ramadan check my previous posts: 9 things Muslims are guilty of during Ramadan and Traveling while fasting.

Ever wonder what Ramadan is like for Muslims around the world? I asked 8 Muslims to find out. Their responses were phenomenal and I am excited to share them with you.  To enjoy this interview,  first, click=> post and open it in a new tab to use as a reference for the vices each person is guilty of.

 

Aminat

Aminat

Aminat Matemilola is a business development analyst, digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur. She has a strong passion for social and economic development and aims to be an entrepreneur. She enjoys volunteering, photography, traveling, doing research and writing in her free time.

 Contact Aminat via email or Instagram

 

What Country do you currently live in?

Nigeria

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?

10 – I fast Mondays and Thursdays regularly so I am used to fasting often. I am excited that there will be numerous communal iftars (eating after sunset) to attend and not having to worry about what to eat. Planning what and how to eat can be strenuous sometimes.

What does Ramadan mean to you?

Ramadan is a month where I feel I am closest to God. I think I do more sincere good deeds in this month than in other months because I know the reward is in multiples and it is easier to focus on being closer to God as ‘worldly’ deeds seem secondary. 

What are your Ramadan goals?

  1. Complete Arabic recitation of the Quran in 29 days
  2. Read half of the Quran in English translation
  3. Perform non-exclusive iti’kaaf (special prayer) in the last ten days of the month. I will be going to work during the day and seclude in the mosque at night.
  4. Pray Tarawih (night prayer)  with  Jam’ah (with the community) every night.
  5. Attend different lectures/programs in different mosques every weekend.
  6. Iftar, Maghrib, and Tarawih in a different mosque every Sunday with friends
  7. Pray tahajud (Special prayer), recite Quran for at least 50 minutes before Suhur (eating before sunrise).
  8. Volunteer and donate to Iftar projects for the less privileged in the community

How do you celebrate Ramadan?

I don’t exactly celebrate Ramadan. Since I already have a fasting habit, I just welcome it and aspire to learn more about the Quran and its teachings by studying its meaning.

Based on my post which vice are you guilty of?

No. 1 – restraining myself from cursing fellow Lagos drivers.

What would you like Non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?

It’s the month you’ll find a lot of Muslims wearing their Muslim cap and it may be the best time to learn more about Islam and the Muslim culture. Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, blessings, and mercies. You see it exude in a lot of Muslims. You don’t have to be a Muslim to join in the act. Forgoing eating during the day has its benefits, plus you would have more time to focus on other things and you get to experience what over half the population experiences every day – hunger!

 

Anass

Annas

Anass Koudiss, based in Amsterdam is a tech marketer who educates and trains Google partners and agencies in Northern Europe. He loves traveling and has been a digital nomad for about five months. To know all about his travels and recommendations follow Anass on Instagram

 

What country do you currently live in?

The Netherlands (Amsterdam)

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?

Definitely 10!

What does Ramadan mean to you?

For me it primarily means a month in which I can binge worship and improve my dedication to Allah (God). It’s also a time that allows me to cleanse myself mentally, spiritually and physically. I for example pay extra attention to what I eat during the allowed time. Also I try to give back more, be more patient, kind and I try to eliminate bad habits and acquire good ones.

What are your Ramadan goals?

I always have so many, which frankly is unreasonable, but I prefer to aim high and if I then only reach 70-80% I’ll be satisfied. The main goal is to read the entire Quran, pray my prayers on time, attend as many Taraweeh (Night prayer) prayers every day, give back every day and eat healthy while balancing it all.

How many hours do you fast for?

18-19 hours

How do you celebrate Ramadan?

Ramadan for me is more of a sober month, with little celebration. Having said that, every iftar with family and/or friends is a little celebration in itself. Oh and eating dates of course too, it’s one of my favorite foods.

 

 

 

Dates

                                                                                                                           Anass’s Favorite Dates

Based on my post, which vice are you guilty of?

Conserving Energy: I am normally very active, cycling every day, going to the gym a few times a week… etc. During Ramadan however, I dial it down a notch. I try to go to the gym for weightlifting, but less often and definitely no cardio. I try to retain as much energy as possible throughout the day so I can continue to deliver strong performance at work.

What would you like non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?

No, we cannot drink water no.    Haha, all jokes aside, I want you all to know that you should feel free to ask anything that comes to mind, there are no embarrassing questions and repeating the same questions every year is absolutely fine. We can’t expect you to remember everything about a practice you don’t follow. Please, don’t feel bad about eating and drinking while your Muslim friends/colleagues/fellow students fast, we can and should be able to handle it. Also feel free to participate or try it out on your terms, you’ll very likely be invited for an iftar. 😉

 

Esra

Esra

 Esra Alhamal is a Saudi designer and travel blogger based in London. She blogs about her travel experiences as a Muslim female traveling solo or with friends. Her main focus is on well designed, artistic, fun experiences and destinations that are suitable for modern, active Muslims.
Esra just started Travelling Muslimas to inspire more Muslim females to travel. DM her to be featured on there.

Also check out her Youtube, Instagram, and Webpage

 

 

What Country do you currently live in?
London, UK

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?
I am more excited now that it started than before it started. I was really worried about fasting for long hours because I haven’t done that in so many years. The past five Ramadans were spent with my family in Saudi. After doing a few days, I realized that there was nothing to worry about and it’s actually fine! Now I would say my excitement level is 10

What does Ramadan mean to you?
It’s a month of fasting, Quran, and traditional foods. I wish I planned my year better to make the most out of Ramadan spiritually but hoping to make the most of the month!

What are your Ramadan goals?
My usual goal for the month is to read the Quran completely (1 chapter a day). I also try to go to the mosque for the religious occasions during the month such as the night of destiny.

How many hours do you fast for?

19  hours

How do you celebrate Ramadan?
There are two things that make this month very distinctive for me from the rest of the year: the extra spiritual focus and the traditional food.

Based on my post which vice are you guilty of?
Definitely number 5!! I have been watching so many recipe videos
I am also guilty of 6 and 7 hehe! I know the time by the second for Iftar and it’s such a glorious meal for me

What would you like Non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?
Ramadan is a Muslim practice to train the soul of a Muslim to be more aware of different aspects of life. The Ramadan culture in some Muslim countries is not always a true representation of what the month promotes. Some people, unfortunately, contribute to food waste and that is the opposite of what Ramadan is about, but we are all trying!

 

Haneen

            Haneen

 Haneen is an American with Palestinian roots that loves to hop around country-to-country and enjoy good cafes, food, fashion, and well… life!  She travels to break stereotypes around ‘the Muslim woman’  Her other reason is to remind herself how small humans are in this world and how amazing God’s creation is.

Haneen will be moving to South Korea where she will be volunteering with the refugee communities, either North Korean defectors or Syrians or Afghans etc.

Check out her Instagram . Her Youtube videos about makeup/skin care products, K-Beauty products and, Koreans react to…” would be coming out soon.

 

 

 

What Country do you currently live in?

I was born and raised in the USA and as of July 2017 I will be moving to South Korea, so that’s exciting 😊

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?

1837483 hahaha.  I am always looking forward to this blessed and mercy filled month.

What does Ramadan mean to you?

Ramadan is the month where if you haven’t lived as a practicing Muslim you can have a new start. It doesn’t have to be limited to this month but for some reason (maybe those chained devils) this is the turning point for lots of Muslims. Ramadan is also the month of mercy, self-improvement, feeling with the needy, and bountiful blessings (Hellooo Laylatul Qadr). Having those devils chained and seeing who you really are is enlightening. Not to mention, those wide-open heaven “gates”, yes please! —not sure when I’ll die but I hope its during Ramadan.

What are your Ramadan goals?

I have been very busy with this Dunya (Life) and have been falling behind on my deen (Religion). We get so busy trying to live this life that we forget to work for our akhirah (hereafter). I hope to catch up during this month, read Quran, be stricter about my prayers, volunteer with the refugees in our community, and bond more with my family. I am not expecting to become a perfect Muslim but rather working on what I have and what I’m lacking in.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

How many hours do you fast for?

16  hours

How do you celebrate Ramadan?

There is no celebration per say but rather small things here and there. We used to put up Ramadan lights outside the house and within the home. There are usually lots of iftars where we get together. Ramadan in the USA isn’t that same as overseas, it’s much quieter. Overseas has more of a festive feel to it. You’d have the family gatherings, the passing out the food to the needy, late night outings- with people out and about well past 11 PM, and the beautiful Athan (call to prayer)  ringing out along the skies. During Suhoor time a man would come out and hit a drum that wakes the people so that they’ll eat before the sun rise and then pray fajr (Morning prayer).

Food

Based on my post which vice are you guilty of?

HAHAHA Oh My Gosh! I am guilty of so many of these. If I had to pick one it would be ‘Iftar is gold’. I always try to eat an amount where I can still breathe by the time I’m done but nope, that never works. My stomach is usually filled very quickly but my

Ramadan Kermit

When it’s not the devil whispering in your ear it’s your own inner voice.

 Ramadan Meme

 

 

 

 

 

 

—–This is a lie! ….mmmm okay maybe only for a guilty foodie like me

What would you like Non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?

Folks, this is an awesome month to take advantage of your Muslim bud’s generosity, ok kidding, but people do get nicer *ahem ahem*. You guys should also try fasting with us, not a full day or anything but the sentiment behind the action means a lot to us.

Fasting is good for your mind and body, literally, scientifically, whatever you want. Look it up!

While most Muslims fast but there are cases where you don’t have to/can’t; pregnant/breastfeeding, sick or ill, females on menses, traveling farther than 48 miles/ 80 km, and children.

For most of us, we start fasting at a young age so it really isn’t that hard, of course, this varies by person. For me it is easy, my main issue would be my beloved water that I can no longer gulp freely and those last torturous minutes before we feast (Lol).

There are lots to tell you but luckily most of it can be searched online these days.

 

Ihsan

Ihsan

Ihsan hopes to inspire Muslims to travel and explore the world by sharing her personal pictures of places she has visited.  Her focus is to travel to  Non-Islamic countries. She wants to show Muslims that there are Halal opportunities everywhere even in Non-Islamic countries.

Check out Ihsan’s Website and follow her on Instagram

What Country do you currently live in?

I live in Denmark. I was born and raised there. I have lived in Malaysia and Spain for short periods of time due to studies.

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?

I love Ramadan and always look forward to getting the opportunity to experience Ramadan every single year. I would scale it on 9, since the only “negative” part is the low energy during the day.

What does Ramadan mean to you?

Ramadan is, for me, a month where the focus is on getting closer to God and being more spiritual. Further about spending time with loved ones and sharing a lovely meal together.

What are your Ramadan goals?

My goals for Ramadan are to attend to Taraweeh-prayer as often as possible and focus on spirituality more than preparing and eating meals. My goal is to eat healthy, only drink water and try to exercise a bit before iftar (eating time). Donate what I’m able to donate, help where I can help, organize iftar at the mosque, and iftar for my friends at home.    

Ifthar
How many hours do you fast for?

We fast approx. 19,5 hours.

Fajr is about 2,30AM and Maghreb is about 9.45PM.

How do you celebrate Ramadan?

By eating at the dinner table with family. We rarely eat together at the dinner table when it isn’t Ramadan. By eating Ramadan “delights” such as Moroccan soup called Harira, Moroccan sweets such as Chebakiya, Sfouf etc.

By driving to the mosque every night for Taraweeh/Night prayer and being with so many sisters at the mosque. Another thing I love, it may sound random, is to wear my Moroccan jellabas (abaya/dresses) that I don’t get to wear any other time of the year 😀     

Based on my which vice are you guilty of?
Number 3: It has already happened twice! So yes it will happen at least ONE time during Ramadan 😛
Number 4: No gym for me during Ramadan because of the long fasting hours. I did before Ramadan planned to exercise 20 minutes before iftar – but that has still not happened (It is now day 15 of Ramadan haha).
Number 7: No Muslim will ever skip iftar. I do though have to work during Iftar 2-3 times during Ramadan, but that doesn’t mean that I will skip a meal. Regardless, the meals are much smaller than imagined during the day haha!

What would you like Non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?

Many Non-Muslims are amazed and shocked when they hear that Muslims can’t even drink water during the fasting hours in Ramadan and many think it is inhuman, almost unrealistic and that they would die if it was them. But trust me! Every strong and healthy human being can fast for many hours, you would be amazed. It is shown by many Scientists that fasting for a long time is actually healthy for the human body, so no reason to freak out 🙂

Besides the food, Ramadan is a month where Muslims should focus on their spirituality and focus on being a better person. It is a month of forgiveness, of self-control and a month of giving. Giving what a single individual can give whether it’s money, food, dates, love, hugs, and kisses –  just give and spread positivity in the world <3

 

Mohame and Ahlam

Ahlam & Mohamed are French Muslim Travel bloggers who Love to meet people and learn about different cultures. They are the Founders of muslimtrip.fr where they share all their tips and tricks to help Muslims travel while respecting their religious principles.

Connect with them on their: Blog, Facebook,  Instagram,  Twitter and Youtube 

What country do you currently live in?

We were born and live in Paris, France.

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?

Of course 11! We especially love this period where time is suspended … all our senses are awake.

What does Ramadan mean to you?

Ramadan for us is synonymous to sharing. It is the sharing with strangers united for the same cause: Islam

It is also a period when deprived of food we feel only hunger but also the feelings of the needy. We naturally become even more attentive, empathetic and generous. We love this period that it passes by too quickly for us!

What are your Ramadan goals?

Although my children are still too young to fast, we try to involve them in this period. Our goal is to initiate them into fasting. A special atmosphere is set up at home where all their activity revolves around Ramadan. As an individual, it is an opportunity to enrich and purify one’s soul.

ramadan goals

How many hours do you fast for?

17 hours

How do you celebrate Ramadan?

During the Ramadan period, I like to create a special atmosphere at home. I listen to the Qur’an every day and put Saudi Arabian incense! I just love it!

Based on my post which vice you are guilty of?

I confess! I’m guilty of vice # 5: Watching the food channel: I love cooking and discovering the different cuisines of the world. Our iftars in Ramadan period are from around the world. I like to draw inspiration from Turkish, Moroccan, Indian or Japanese iftar!

guilty of

What would you like Non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?

The depth of our act of worship that Ramadan represents. Beyond fasting, it is a period of deep meditation that only those fasting can feel. That is why I am always delighted to see curious people who test the experience of Ramadan and conclude its benefits. Come and share an Iftar with us!

 

 

Muzz Yasi

 

Muzammil

Muzammil  Yaseen is a Tourism Strategist. He helps Tourism Boards Promote their destinations in Europe, Middle East, and South-East Asia 

Connect with Muzzamil on his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

 

What Country do you currently live in?

DUBAI 

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab- Dubai

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?

10 – Extremely excited 

What does Ramadan mean to you?

A month of soul purification, kindness, giving. 

What are your Ramadan goals?

To make it better than the previous Ramadans. 

How many hours do you fast for?

14  hours

How do you celebrate Ramadan?

I travel a lot so I try to be with friends and family where ever I can, this year I want to travel to a place where fasting time is more than 20 hrs, celebrating Ramadan in a completely strange environment will be a good learning experience 

Based on my post which vice are you guilty of?

8.Gaining pounds

What would you like Non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?

Ramadan is a month of Fasting, intensive worship, giving charity, purifying one’s behavior, and doing good deeds. It is also a way to experiencing hunger, developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning thankfulness and appreciation for all of God’s bounties. Ramadan helps us in break the cycle of rigid habits.

 

 

 

Sally

Sally

Born in Ireland and raised in Southern California, Sally of Passport & Plates has been a traveler from the start. She boarded her first flight when she was just 10 days old and hasn’t stopped traveling since. Growing up Arab and Muslim in the U.S. has made her no stranger to cultural clashes, and summers spent learning to cook resulted in her deep appreciation for all types of cuisine. She’s a firm believer that local food and travel experiences are the best forms of education.

Connect with Sally on Facebook, Instagram and her Webpage.

 

 

What Country do you currently live in?

The United States…sort of 🙂
·

On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you for Ramadan?

8.

What does Ramadan mean to you?

To me, Ramadan is unity. It’s the time when the entire community collectively unites to fast, give zakat and work on being better Muslims.

Istanbul
What are your Ramadan goals?

Attending more Taraweeh instead of basking in a food coma.

How many hours do you fast for?

16  hours

How do you celebrate Ramadan?

Being with my family during Ramadan is something I prize above all. We always pray Maghrib (Evening Prayer) together and eat together, and there are certain foods that are always at Iftar: ful (fava beans), dates (of course), and hummus. Plus, homemade juices. To us, the celebration is the community feel – it’s the one month per year that everyone does their best to eat together.

Food in Ramadan
·

Based on my post which vice are you guilty of?

LOL, I ALWAYS know when Maghrib is, down to the minute. Being someone who loves food, I definitely struggle with taming my hanger during Ramadan (I guess I should add that to my Ramadan goals).
What would you like Non-Muslims around the world to know about Ramadan?

Fasting is more than just giving up food and drink. It’s a time for charity, unity, and spirituality.

 

 

I hope you felt inspired! 

like this post? pin it or save it for later!

Ramadan Pinterest

 

 

2017-07-15T01:26:00+00:00 June 13th, 2017|What's Your Story|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Trudy June 13, 2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    I loved this post! Thank you for introducing me to more Muslim bloggers. And the unity felt with observations of Ramadan all around the world. It was lovely, truly! Ramadan Mubarak!

  2. […] Previous […]

  3. Stacey June 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you for educating me more about Ramadan. I live in the center of the United States, and I don’t know anyone personally who is Muslim. There is a Mosque in my town, though. This has made me consider why I don’t try to learn more and meet more people. This article was really informative.

  4. […] all folks! I hope you enjoyed learning about EID around the world. Check out a similar series on Ramadan. Still have doubts about Eid or Ramadan? Comment down below and I’ll do my best to answer […]

Hey! Your opinion matters. Leave a comment