The month of Ramadan has arrived and Muslims all over the world are welcoming the month of mercy. In my childhood, we were also excited about this month but we didn’t decorate our homes, as far as I remember. Now as a parent myself, I am excited to do something special so the positivity of Ramadan family traditions stays with us in our memories.
What is Ramadan? Why is it special for us? What is done during this month? These are a few of the questions which might be on your mind. So let us start with that before I share with you the things that I am going to do to make it a memorable one in shaa Allah.
The Meaning of Ramadan
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and lasts 29-30 days. Ramadan means “scorching” in Arabic and most commonly falls in the summer. This is a special month for Muslims as this was the month Quran was sent to our Prophet Muhammad (a.s). Like any other month in Islam, this month also starts with the sighting of a Hilal (new moon).
In the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This process continues until we see the new moon of the following month and celebrate Eid.
During this time, we Muslims mainly concentrate on seeking forgiveness from the Almighty and praying to thank the Almighty. This is the month in which we converse with the Almighty the most. People also try to concentrate on good deeds more than usual!
As a parent of a young child, I try to teach my daughter the importance of Ramadan with age-appropriate activities. In shaa Allah we have plans to proceed with this as we both grow so that my daughter can pass these Ramadan family traditions on to her own kids one day.
Creating Your Family’s Unique Ramadan Traditions
Before I was married, I thought that people all over the world break the fast with dates and kanji (rice porridge specially made during the month of Ramadan) but later came to know that there are different traditions for each family.
Last year when we were fasting, even the little one didn’t eat the whole day till the time we both ate. To prevent this scenario from repeating this year, I came up with an idea. To celebrate the month of Ramadan, each day we talk about Ramadan, religion, or Islam. So each year we are planning to go with this challenge in shaa Allah!
As we live in a Western country now, we have an opportunity to break the fast with other Muslims in the mosque. After the prayers, we have our dinner and then get an opportunity to pray Taraweeh (night prayers) as a team.
The mosque we go to encourages kids to participate in the Taraweeh prayers and they have a special space to take care of the kids. Women during their menstruation get a concession for not praying, so this helps in taking care of the children. The moms take turns in taking care of the kids. We do some activities with the kids during those prayer times so kids get an opportunity to get closer to each other as well as closer to the Almighty.
How can you create your own family Ramadan traditions?
All you have to do is think about what Ramadan means to each member of your family and start there. But if you’re looking for ideas to kickstart and motivate you, keep reading. I have compiled some creative ways that you can make this Ramadan the best one to cherish in shaa Allah.
1. Stay Calm and Stay Away from Social Media
As the month of Ramadan approaches, people get into cleaning mode. I would say keeping the home clean is mandatory but getting tense is not. Looking at all the beautiful pictures on social media might make you upset that you aren’t able to do the same. It’s fine.
All five fingers aren’t the same. Let’s do what we can do. Since someone cleans and preps it’s not necessary for you to do it too. Work on what works best for your family. If you feel you aren’t able to control yourself by looking at those beautiful pictures, turn off your social media accounts.
2. Decorate Your Home with Love
Please make sure that you don’t go overboard with your decorations. Plan it and do it as per your family’s demands.
Use it as an opportunity to create a bond within your family. It doesn’t need to be social media-worthy. It needs to be memory worthy. A moment filled with love, joy, and happiness which can be treasured for a long time in shaa Allah.
3. Make Your Meals Simple
We usually have our meals before sunrise and only after sunset. So it’s difficult to eat a complete meal while getting adjusted to the new cycle. Planning the meal is as important as keeping it suitable for the family’s health. My family meals will be simple and currently, we use the opportunity to go to the masjid (mosque) to open the fast so I’ll have to plan accordingly.
4. Plan Family Time During Ramadan
This is very important in our life as this stays in our memories. Even if our child is young now, there will come a time when she will cherish these memories. When I was a kid my mom used to spend at least five minutes saying something about Islam either during the iftiar or while eating the suhoor (pre-dawn) meal. And on the day of Eid, we would talk about the khutbah message (after the Eid prayers; the imam – the one who leads the prayer – speaks/conveys a message) in depth so that we truly understand the message and it stays deep within us.
Now I have planned a few activities/games to be done as a family during Ramadan so in shaa Allah we will treasure these memories.
5. Read/hear Quran as a Family
Reading more Quran is needed during the month of Ramadan. With the commitments, we have few of us who aren’t able to read more Quran during this month so you can hear them whenever possible. Try to hear at least one Ayah (verse) per day.
If you have older kids, you can listen to the Quran when commuting, as these kids have a better understanding of Ramadan. You can even assign one activity per day which is a doable task so that at the end of 30 days you can gift them for sure.
For those of you who want to celebrate or take part in Ramadan celebrations and show your children different cultures and provide opportunities to learn, many communities conduct story time or various activities, no matter which country you live in. For example, the Atlanta Children’s Museum celebrates a specific day with one part of the community. You can approach your local library to check if they have a story time or any activities for Ramadan. Muslims all over the world will be more than happy to welcome you and have you take part in their festivities and joy.
When you visit, say “Ramadan Kareem”. It is a greeting that means “have a generous or blessed Ramadan” and can be used by anyone wanting to greet a fasting Muslim. Try it!
If you are interested in learning more or getting additional ideas on helping your kids with Ramadan, I’m here for you.
Ramadan Kareem to all of you. I wish you all joy and happiness!
Learn more about Ramadan on Multicultural Kid Blogs!
Creating Ramadan family traditions
Ramadan activities for kids
- Ramadan In Our Home
- Islamic Daily Salat (Prayer) Chart Tutorial
- Arabic Calligraphy Inspired Art
- Ramadan for Kids: Making a Good Deed Jar
Ramadan around the world
- How to Celebrate Eid in Switzerland the Algerian Way
- Joy Sun Bear Celebrates Ramadan in Iran
- Ramadan in Malaysia
- Ramadan in my Saudi/Canadian home