Ramadan Mubarak from Populo Living!
Posted 28 March 2023
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and has begun on March 23rd and will last for 30 days. It comprises one of the five pillars of Islam (the five tenets that uphold Islamic belief in practice) that practising Muslims observe: fasting from sunrise to sunset. Although, it should be noted not all Muslims will be able to fast.
Those with physical or mental ill-health, those menstruating or travelling are not expected to fast, but they are just as valid in their expression of faith. They are still able to partake in spiritually observing Ramadan, through prayer, charity, and community connection.
Newham is home to London’s second largest Muslim population, which accounts for nearly 35% of the borough’s residents. Also, a large proportion of Populo’s residents adhere to the Islamic faith. It’s a common sight to see a hub of activity during the month of Ramadan: from shoppers heading to markets and stores on Green Street to Mosques filled with worshippers in the evening across the borough.
We asked some of our colleagues what this time of the year means to them.
“Ramadan to me is one of the best times of the year for me because it is a time for spiritual reset, it’s a time to reflect on your life, your goals, and aspirations.
I enjoy it because even though there is the hunger aspect, it is a great time of unity, we are all in it together and feel supported by each other. You feel grounded, at peace and able to really focus on what’s important in life.” - Saudat, Resident Liaison Officer
“For me Ramadan is not only just about abstaining from food and drink, but also so much more, Ramadan is a time for self-reflection, repentance, and deep spirituality. It’s a crucial time to count my blessings over the year and feel empathy and give generously to those less fortunate.
I celebrate Ramadan by engaging in charity work, decorating my house with my children and having special meals at sunset with friends and family.” - Nasima, Income Officer
“Ramadan is a month of striving to be the best version of yourself from the long hours of fasting, along with frequent recitation of the Qur’an, giving more charity, and standing in prayer for a few hours every night.
It’s also the one time of year where certain dishes are made such as Kisuri (which is a Bengali rice-based porridge) with a side of spiced chickpeas along with copious amounts of Ma’moul (Levantine date filled cookies served with coffee or tea). So very much looking forward to that!” – Raihan Ali, Communications Officer
“Remembrance of the less fortunate and a month of giving to the best of your abilities. For me, it’s a month of peace and cleansing.” – Zainul Patel, Lettings Manager
“To me Ramadan is a time of giving and self-reflection and to get closer to God. I usually celebrate Ramadan by spending more time with family, educating myself with more knowledge, sharing food with family, neighbours, and friends and by giving to those who are in need.” – Hina Kazmi, Assistant Accountant.
What Newham Council are doing for Ramadan?
"Ramadan is a month of patience, self reflection and increasing spirituality. The hours spent in abstaining from food and drink provides a powerful reminder that millions around the world do not have anything to eat; this helps in contributing to many charities supporting people around the world. I love spending the time with my family where we eat together and appreciate that we are fortunate to be around each other." - Foysol Uddin, Community Development Officer
"For me Ramadan is a time to reset, to have some time focusing on yourself. spending quality time with family, getting excited about Eid and saying you'll stay away from fried foods, but eating more samosas in a month than you would have had for the rest of the year" - Afsana Begum, Housing Officer
Newham Council have sent out greetings to all residents to mark the beginning of Ramadan on social media and the resident newsletter. The Adults and Public Health directorate has begun promoting health messages around smoking and Ramadan, along with support services available for residents.
You can find out how you can take part fully in the spirit of Ramadan without taking risks with your health here.
Ilford Youth Service is hosting the event below:
Sleep and wellbeing during Ramadan
Location: Little Ilford Youth Zone
Part 1: The session will include Young People discussing what Ramadan means for each individual and how it is celebrated in every household.
Part 2: This session will explore the important of sleep and impact it can have on people’s daily life (positive and negative). The session will be co-delivered by Young People. This will allow them to look at the pros and cons on sleep, especially during the month of Ramadan.
In the run up to Eid, the Council will be supporting the community in street dressing to mark the end of Ramadan.