Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and a very special time for Muslims all over the world. During Ramadan, Muslims won’t eat or drink during the day in an act called fasting. Kids don’t need to fast until they reach puberty but if you’d like to try it with your family, you can start with a small mini fast for an hour or two.
Other activates you can take part in during Ramadan are reciting the Qur’an, spending more time making dua and being extra kind to others.
To win this amazing prize all you have to do is get creative by telling us in no more than 500 words your experience of Ramadan in Covid.
The winning entry will win a Penny the prayer bear, but will also have their work printed in the next issue of Asian Standard.
The competition is open for children up to the age of 14 years only. Entries must be submitted by Friday 30 April midnight to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Asian Sunday, 5 Green Street, Little Germany, Bradford, BD1 5HG. Winner will be notified by 4 May 2021. Competition Terms and conditions apply. So get writing!
In the meantime here you can read all about the ‘A to Z’ of Ramadan and find out more about the special ways Muslims all across the world have been living this month!
Ramadan A to Z for Kids
A is for Allah
Allah is God. He is the creator of everything, from the bright sun in the sky to the smallest of ants. He created you and me, and he hears and sees all. Muslims worship Allah and obey his rules.
Allah reviled the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) during Ramadan!
B is for Barakah
Your Barakah is your blessings. For Muslims, barakah is the divine blessings in our lives that come only from Allah, like fresh air and rain!
Muslims see Ramadan as the perfect chance to increase barakah or blessings for themselves, their families and for their community by fasting, giving charity and praying more.
C is for Charity
During the month of Ramadan, Allah rewards all of our good deeds and Muslims everywhere make sure to give even more out of love this month. Ramadan is a time of great virtue and reward, and Muslims are encouraged to give generously to the poor during this time.
When you give charity, God gives you more in return for helping those in need. Giving charity makes you feel wonderful! Charities like Penny Appeal can help you offer charity to some of the most needy people around the world, making you feel good and helping those in need.
D is for Dates
Many Muslims will break their fast with a date in Ramadan. The Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) used to do this and is reported to have said, “When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates, but if he cannot get any, then he should break his fast with water as that is very purifying.” [Muslim].
Dates are a sweet fruit chock full of natural sugars, fibre, minerals, and protein – so they really are the perfect food to eat!
E is for Eid Al-Fitr
Eid Al-Fitr is a wonderful time of year and a great celebration! Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan. On this day, we break our month long fast and gather together with family and friends to celebrate. People start Eid with collective prayers in the morning and then enjoy a big family meal. Gifts are given to children like you and sweet treats are had by all!
This year, Eid-al-Fitr should begin on the evening of Wednesday 12 May, depending upon actual moon sightings, and carry on until the evening of Thursday 13 May.
F is for Fasting
During Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day. Fasting just means that you go without. When you fast you cut out food and drink so that you can focus on God.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and all healthy adults need to do it. You can try fasting with your family if you’d like this Ramadan!
G is for Gabriel the Archangel
The Archangel Gabriel, or Jibreel , is the greatest of all angels. He was the angel who delivered God’s revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) on the Night of Power towards the end of Ramadan.
Muslims also believe that Archangel Gabriel delivered messages from God to all the prophets, and that he appeared to people in can range of forms from an ordinary human to an angel having a mighty wingspan covering the entire horizon from east to west.
H is for Halal and Haram
Halal is an Arabic word that means permitted. The opposite of Halal is haram, which means not permitted. Most foods are considered halal, accept for those specifically prohibited by the Qur’an and hadiths like pork or animals not prepared according to Islamic law.
Halal and haram are words that can apply to our behaviour as well! If you follow Allah’s rules and live a good life then you are living in a halal way.
I is for Iftar
Iftar is the meal that Muslims break their fast with after the sun sets during Ramadan. You can enjoy Iftar with family and friends at home or with your neighbours in a Mosque or community centre.
J is for Jannah
In Islam, Jannah is paradise. It is the Muslim depiction of heaven where good people go after death. In Jannah, you receive everything you’ve ever wished for. It is beautiful there and you will be surrounded by good pious people who love Allah – just like you!
In Ramadan, Muslims offer their devotion to God and ask for His forgiveness in the hope that He will show them mercy and invite them into Jannah because it is during Ramadan that the doors to Jannah are opened the widest.
The Prophet (ﷺ) is reported to have said ‘When Ramadan comes, the gates of paradise are opened, the gates of hellfire are locked, and the devils are shackled.” [Bukhari]
K is for Kaffarah (and Fidya)
Kaffarah and Fidya are donations people must make if their fasts are missed or broken. Fidya is given when you have a good reason for missing a fast, and will provide 2 meals to someone in need for each day you miss out on. But if someone breaks their fast on purpose, without a reason, then they need to pay Kaffarah. People paying Kaffarah need to provide 60 meals to hungry people.
L is for Laylatul Qadr
The best night of Ramadan is Laylatul Qadr, or the Night of Power. This is the holiest night of the entire year!
The Night of Power is the night that the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). The exact day of the Night of Power is unknown, but it occurs on one of the last ten nights in Ramadan.
M is for Masjid
Masjids, or Mosques, are holy places that Muslims go to pray as a community. A Mosque is the house of Allah.
Going to Masjid during Ramadan is a special way to not only connect to God and worship, but also a wonderful way to come together as a community.
N is for Niyyah
Niyyah is the Arabic word for intention. Everything we do in life, we do it for a reason and this is our niyyah. In Ramadan, the intentions and reasons we have for our actions really matter. We can’t just go through the motions of prayer and worship, we should be doing them because we want to please God.
During the month of Ramadan, good deeds and prayer should be made only for the sake of God!
O is for Obligatory deeds
Obligatory deeds in Islam are things like fasting, paying Zakat, making a pilgrimage to Makkah once in your life and many other good deeds. These are things that Muslims have to do because God has commanded it.
Completing obligatory acts gives a person great reward and in Ramadan these rewards are multiplied!
P of for the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)
Muslims believe that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is the final messenger sent by God to teach Islam to the world. Allah gave the Prophet Muhammed the Qur’an to share with everyone – this happened in Ramadan!
The Prophet Muhammed (ﷺ) was a very good person, and Muslims try to live their lives as he did because of this.
Q is for Qur’an Recitation
Throughout Ramadan, many people make time to revise, recite and memorise the Qur’an to become closer to God. Reciting the Qur’an allows Muslims to better understand their religion.
Making time to read the Holy Qur’an out loud is something that many Muslims do on a daily basis during Ramadan!
R is for Ramadan Kareem
You probably heard friends or family say “Ramadan Kareem” in the month of Ramadan. This is an wonderful greeting that means ‘May the month of Ramadan be generous one for you’.
Another greeting that you may have heard is “Ramadan Mubarak”, which means as “Happy Ramadan” or “Have a blessed Ramadan”.
S is for Suhoor
Just like Iftar is the meal that Muslims have to break their fasts, Suhoor is the meal that Muslims enjoy in the early morning before their fast begins. It is a special part of the fasting process and keeps people who are fasting energised and hydrated for the day ahead of them.
T is for Tarawih
Tarawih are extra prayers that are said in the evenings during Ramadan after the night (‘Isha’) prayers. These are not obligatory prayers, but many Muslims enjoy going to Mosque for these special prayers.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “Whosoever stands in the nights of Ramadan, with faith and in hope of receiving Allah’s reward, his past sins will be forgiven” [Bukhari].
U is for Ummah
Our Ummah is our community! This word is used in reference to the global Muslim community, and includes anyone who worships Allah around the world.
Feeling connected to the Muslim ummah is a refreshing feeling in Ramadan, and it gives Muslim people the chance to come together and share in their faith.
V is for Vaccine
This Ramadan is happening right when Covid-19 vaccines are being distributed, and some people worry about whether or not getting the vaccine injection would count as breaking their fast. But most Islamic scholars have said that these vaccines are permitted during fasting hours!
It is important to keep yourself and your Ummah safe, so vaccines should not be avoided during the holy month of Ramadan.
W is for Wudu
Wudu is something that all Muslims must do before praying to Allah. When you make wudu, you make sure that your face, arms and feet are clean by washing yourself. Making wudu washes away your sins and makes sure that you are pure for prayer!
X is for X-ray your heart
During Ramadan, many people look within themselves to see if they are truly living as the Qur’an has said they should. X-ray your heart in Ramadan to see if you are following the path of the Prophet (ﷺ).
Self-reflection is a great way to find out how you can better act in the way of Allah.
Y is for YOLO
You only live once in this world, and you need to make the most of your time on earth before going to Jannah. In Ramadan, the rewards for your good deeds are multiplied, so don’t miss a single chance in this world to receive Allah’s blessings.
Ramadan is a month that is blessed by Allah, so go out and do something wonderful for your loved ones and those in need!
Z is for Zakat
Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is the act of giving charity to the poor. All adult Muslims are expected to give Zakat each year, as long as they are not poor themselves. It is our responsibility as Muslims to care for those in need and Zakat is one of the ways we can do this.
Zakat can be paid at any time throughout the year, but people will often choose to make their zakat donations during Ramadan because of the greater spiritual rewards that come along with giving charity during this holy month.