Farewell for now…

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From our Muslim chaplain

Today being the last day of term for many of us, I would like to thank every one of you for the hard work, dedication and perseverance you have shown over this most difficult time. Online lessons were very difficult to adjust to even for us as Chaplains, but we did it! It is clear that it’s going stay with us a lot longer than I anticipated – so well done for that!

I have been in close collaboration with the Equalities Team, talking about Ramadan and how Muslims can prepare physically, mentally and spiritually for this most important time of year. You see I used to look at Ramadan as a bit of a burden and this made it difficult for me to see the full benefits of the months. The first few days would always begin with heavy migraines and I realise this was because I didn’t start early with my preparations. I just jumped straight into it, and my body would pretty much go into shock! Hence the migraines.

There are many things we can do to prepare and you can never prepare too early. Here is a list of things we can do physically, and you will no doubt find it will be easier both mentally and spiritually:

  1. Voluntary Fasts – start fasting every other day or Mondays and Thursdays. Or just start cutting down your calorie intake (Intermittent Fasting – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327398).
  2. Recite and Reflect on the Qur’an – if you don’t understand Arabic find yourself a translation. There are also plenty of tafaseer (explanations) on Youtube.
  3. Follow the Sunnah as much as you can – there may be sunnah acts that you haven’t brought into your life that you want to try and practice upon? (Sunnah – following in the footsteps if Prophet Muhammed Peace be upon him).
  4. Make lots of dua – ask Allah Almighty for help through any trials and tribulations. Also seek advice and counsel from professionals where available.
  5. Give Charity – there are lots of crowdfunding opportunities whereby you can give small amounts every day to worthwhile causes all over the world.
  6. Improve your character – wherever you feel improvements are necessary.
  7. Eat healthy and moderately – starting now. Don’t let your body go into shock like I used to do. Cut down on daily caffiene, drink more water instead.

This last one is also important during Ramadan – try your best to avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat. Samosas and pakoras are ever so tasty at iftar time, but imagine how your body will react to all these after a whole day of fasting. You will end up feeling more tired and lethargic if you keep eating fried stuff. Overall, let us pray for a healthy and prosperous Ramadan- that leaves us changed for the better, rather than leaving us reverting back to our old selves after Eid.

Don’t forget this Sunday Passover begins and lasts for seven days, taking us nicely into Easter Bank Holiday weekend, before Ramadan begins a week or so later. Why not try and engage with someone who is observing these occasions and find out something new?

Remember me in your prayers and take care everyone

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