Like Lent for Christians, Ramadan is an important time for Muslims to connect with their religion, their family and their community values. It is considered to be the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, and is observed by millions of people across the world.
The start of Ramadan is dictated by the lunar calendar, so the date varies each year. Muslims will fast daily from sunrise until sunset for up to 30 days, depending on the moon cycle.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, which means ‘the festival of breaking the fast’.
Sometimes it can be difficult to explain why Ramadan is important in our community of carers, and what different rituals are observed, especially to children or young people who may have never heard of it before.
Here are some useful things to know about this religious event to develop a child’s understanding of the significance of Ramadan.
Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?
One of the 5 pillars of Islam is ‘Sawm’, which is the practice of fasting. During Ramadan, all adult Muslims are required to give up food, drink, smoking and sexual activities between sunrise and sunset.
During this period, Muslims will also work to avoid negative thoughts and deeds.
Fasting during Ramadan helps Muslims become spiritually stronger to Allah.
What else happens during Ramadan?
Many Muslims use Ramadan as a time to devote themselves to the 5 pillars of Islam, which are:
Zakat (giving to charity)
Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca)
Some Muslims will read the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book, in full and participate in prayer more often. Many volunteer their time with a charity and donate money to those less fortunate.
What if somebody cannot fast?
Muslims who have health conditions which would be impacted by fasting do not need to take part (such as diabetes). Children, pregnant women and the elderly also do not need to take part in the fast, though they should use the time to explore other parts of their faith.
Muslims who have a short-term reason for not fasting can finish their fast at a later date, though some choose to make a charity donation instead.
Did you know?
As a full-time foster carer, you will receive allowances for religious holiday expenses. We believe this is important to help a child in care feel comfortable and welcome, especially during important holidays.
Want to learn more about fostering?
Our foster carers come from a variety of different faith groups and backgrounds and we welcome applications from all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, including those without a religious belief.
We ask that our carers are considerate and open to also caring for children who may have differing religious and cultural beliefs to their own.
This is something which you will need to accommodate and support as a foster carer for Bradford.
If you have any questions about this subject, why not speak to our team today and find out about the difference you could make to a young person’s life.