As Ramadan comes to a close and we look forward to Eid next week, we spoke to Rajoo Miah, Quality and Safety Advisor for our Cancer and Clinical Support division, about his reflections of Ramadan and how he’ll be celebrating Eid.
Rajoo what does Ramadan means to you?
Ramadan for me is a time of self-reflection, to pause on life to review my achievements for the past year and where I can do better. I eagerly wait for Ramadan as it’s a peaceful month to spend time with family and friends and it gives me time to better connect better with my faith. It is also a month where I donate to charities and give back to the community. I feel like there is so much unity and positivity in this month.
How you have observed Ramadan this year – did the pandemic change things for you?
Through the Covid restrictions, Ramadan did feel lonely at times as the traditional prayers observed in the mosque and going to family and friend’s houses were not permitted. This year, as restrictions have lifted, the month has been spent as it used to be and that warm and spiritual feeling that Ramadan brings has once again returned.
What’s your routine throughout the month?
Ramadan brings it’s challenges, especially when you are working full time; many Muslim-majority countries offer reduced hours and even state leave. However, in the UK we have to balance this as well as we can. The first week can be hard to make these adjustments as your body is in shock from the sudden lack of food and water, however, for me, after about day three it becomes easier. I normally pre- prepare my food for the week, so it lets me conserve energy within the weekday evenings. At night I go to sleep just before sunrise and have food that provides a slow release in energy. Some people will wake up just before sunrise, however, I prefer just to stay awake – then pay for it the next day! Through the day I will ensure that I am not having to walk long distances and will coordinate meetings virtually, and working from home really helps with this. By the afternoon, I often feel very tired and concentration lapses. When this happens, I will pop out for fresh air or re-arrange more difficult tasks for first thing in the morning when I tend to work better. When work is completed for the day, I go home and either have a nap or spend some time reading Islamic history or the Quran. Through the month I also try my best to get involved in voluntary work with my local neighbourhood. I cut out all unnecessary activities and use this month to benefit others as much as I can.
What are you most looking forward to post-Ramadan?
The end of Ramadan is marked with Eid –al -Fitr which is a marked religious holiday and one of two Eids that are celebrated by Muslims in the year. The dates change each year and are based on the sighting of the moon. Eid-al-Fitr is the celebration of the holy month of Ramadan coming to an end and is traditionally celebrated with families and friends involving lots of dishes that are only prepared on special occasions such as this. Prayers are offered at the Mosque to start the day off, gifts are exchanged, traditional cultural/religious clothes are worn, and the day is spent reflecting on the special month that has just left. What I am looking forward to post Ramadan is being able to drink water - like loads! So I’m most looking forward to quenching my thirst every ten minutes!
I would like to extend my warm wishes to everyone and in advance of Eid – Eid Mubarak to all my wonderful colleagues and may you have a wonderful and blessed day.