Ramadhan is ordinarily known as a month of fasting for Muslims in which they abstain from eating, drinking and unlawful engagements during the day.
However, Sheikh Mahmood Kibaate, the Family Affairs coordinator at Nakasero Mosque, says, “Ramadhan is also a family time,” which Muslims must utilise to strengthen family ties.
During a meeting with Muslim women recently to sensitise them on how they can achieve the best from the month of Ramadhan, Sheikh Kibaate shared some tips on how to bond with their families. He says families need to commit to a daily Ramadhan ritual of at least 10 minutes; to strengthen not just personal faith, but family bonds as well. Here are some ideas he offered to achieve that.
Family bedtime story
“Set the timer to 10 minutes. Gather everyone in the same room in their pyjamas and start taking turns in sharing or reading short Islamic stories,” he says. “If the story is long, read a portion for only 10 minutes and continue the following day. Encourage all readers to be as dramatic as possible in their presentation to retain audience interest.”
Say one prayer together at home
Sheikh Kibaate advises that parents should arrange one prayer to be offered together and encourage all to participate.
“Most prayers take 10 minutes or less if you are praying only the required Rakat (the act of bowing and kneeling during prayer). so, choose one for a family congregation,” the man of God says.
Quoting from the hadith (Islamic traditions), he says some of the companions of Prophet Muhammad said, “We eat but are not satisfied, perhaps you eat separately,” The companions replied in the affirmative. The Prophet then said, “Eat together and mention the name of Allah over your food. It will be blessed for you.” Suhur is the early morning meal while breaking the fast while Iftar is the evening meal.
10-minute Ramadhan craft
Sheikh says, man’s nature is about art and crafts. Therefore, these can be both fun and therapeutic, and you don’t need hours in front of an easel to enjoy them.
“Make sure everyone at home participates in the craft event and have all of the materials and preparations done beforehand so the actual craft work really does take 10 minutes or less,” he says.
“ The internet can offer a wide range of “fast and easy crafts” to come up with a few great ideas that you can be adopted and adapt for Ramadhan.
Daily Dua ritual
This can be done right after the family has prayed together, or if that is not possible, at any other point in the day when everyone is in the same place. Begin by praising Allah, then the Prophet, peace and after this, each person should take turns saying one Dua (prayer).
“These prayers could be for better health for a family member, a pet, or gift wishes for Eid [after Ramadhan celebrations]. Make sure to set a timer and to remind participants to keep their Duas short and meaningful so that everyone gets a chance to share,” he says.
These aspects will enhance family bonds.