REF: EB/SH/05/18                                                          



Moving away from home to an unfamiliar country to study is hard enough! Add doing the holy month of Ramadhan away from home and it can actually feel quite depressing. For me, it is definitely the month I look forward to. Lazy stay-at-home days filled with Quran recitation, Mummy-made iftaars, rushing off to Quran Khani and being surrounded by a comforting blanket of Quran and Dua recitation-all familiar aspects of doing Ramadhan at home. But one important thing, I luckily realised soon enough, is that it is only as depressing as YOU make it out to be. I realised that instead of feeling sorry for myself, I needed to get up and actually do something to make myself feel better. In trying to find what to do, I asked myself, what are the main things I miss when doing Ramadhan away from home? I came up with the following TIPs. That stands for Tradition, Involvement and the People.


The familiar routine, the special iftaars on special days, and the small special Ramadhan ‘traditions’ that I know only my family would do. As much as I missed that, it dawned on me that this was a time I was given to come up with new traditions. So embrace that and get to thinking what you want to make as a tradition to follow: Saturday night Quran Tafseer and dessert sessions? Friday Friends Potluck Iftaar? Get creative and come up with fun new things.


As soon as you adjust your mind-set to be one that is positive, you will realise that some of the things you miss about doing Ramadhan away from home happen here too. If you live in a place with a mosque, there is bound to be Quran Khani and Dua Sessions happening there too! So get involved! Join a group recitation, teach a Quran class, recite Dua, volunteer, join the youth committee and help organize and come up with exciting things for the youth to do. This is your chance to fully immerse yourself in these things away from family commitments.


For me it was that family feeling that I really used to miss. But when you get involved you will meet people that are absolutely amazing! Your local friends will introduce you to even more people and welcome you home for family iftaars. Your friends that are from your home town know how you feel, so seek comfort in them. Finally, you most probably will have some relatives living in the same town and now would be the perfect time to get in touch and get closer.

From me, those are the TIPS I can offer. The underlying message in all these aspects is: be positive. From my experience I have come to see the immense difference when looking at things positively and making the best out a situation. Not only does it make you stronger, it makes you happier. Your university time is a time that is all about you. So, make the right friends, get involved in the right things, make the right choices, and finally make the most out it!

Fatema Sugra .S. Merali
Mombasa Jamaat

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