In the spring of 2020, we saw masjids and organizations scramble to make virtual plans for Ramadan due to the COVID-19 global pandemic closing down mosques prior to the start of the fasting month. It was a time of great uncertainty and worry: How was this all going to work?
Ramadan is always one of our busiest times of the year, with our communities gathering and worshipping communally during the holy month. That all drastically changed last year. This year, Ramadan is expected to be from April 13 to May 12 (beginning the evening of April 12). While some people have already taken or are getting their COVID vaccines, most masajid have yet to decide whether they will be open at all for tarawih prayers or perhaps open in a limited capacity.
The CDC offers these guidelines
on how houses of worship can serve their congregants, including limiting exposure, maintaining social distance, wearing a mask and providing alternative remote options for those who are at high risk.
Alhamdullilah, our communities are stepping up to once again virtually meet the needs of worshippers across the country. Haute Hijab compiled this master list for you to prepare for a safe Ramadan with a variety of tips and resources, from decorating to creating a prayer space at home for the month-long tarawih prayers to different online programs, webinars and classes you can avail. A lot of programming will be updated or made available shortly before Ramadan, and we hope to update this list as newer information comes out. Be sure to bookmark this post!
In the meantime, here’s a master compilation of everything we’ve found to help you plan and prep for your Ramadan worship!
New to Ramadan?
1. Basics of Fasting:
Here’s an informational guide
about Ramadan if you’re fasting for the first time, created out of need by converts. This later transferred to Ta’leef Collective’s convert care program. Read stories of converts sharing their first time
experiences. (We also are working on a “Fasting for newbies” post, which will be published, Insha’Allah, in the next week or so.)
3. Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign:
Along with a downloadable comprehensive guide to Ramadan, this interfaith group collaborates and matches people to have virtual Ramadan iftars. In the past few years they’ve coordinated hundreds of iftars across the United States. Sign up here
to get matched.
4. Virtual Ramadan, Student Experience:
The Islamic Center at New York University (ICNYU) has a virtual Ramadan experience in the works. Sign up here
5. Virtual Iftars:
Breaking fast via Zoom or Google Hangouts with family and friends may be part of our shared Ramadan experience again this year. But it’s not necessarily a new thing! The Ramadan Iftar Project
began virtual iftars
for converts to connect to Muslims on Facebook in 2014. Muslims, who will probably be at home for iftar rather than at mosques, can take on an initiative to break bread virtually with local converts and community.
6. Black Iftar:
A group called Black Iftar
, created by Dallas Wright
, offers space for Black Muslims to virtually break bread together. The page provides resources to learn about Blackness in Islam, anti-Blackness in Muslim spaces and convert
topics. HH’s Layla Abdullah-Poulos hosted her own Black Iftar in 2019 and wrote about it here
7. Students Fasting Experience:
The Kaufman Interfaith Institute
at Grand Valley State University in Michigan put out a comprehensive information guide for students who may be observing Ramadan and how to explain it to their college professors. Looking for tips on how to ask for some Ramadan accommodations? Check it out here
Physical Ramadan Prep
Image source: Ella Olsson on Unsplash
Getting physically ready and organized for Ramadan takes some prep work. Here are some things to consider:
1. Multitasking Moms:
Our HH guide for busy mamas
offers tips on meal prep and physical chores to save up energy for more important things, like increasing good deeds and worship during the last 10 nights of Ramadan.
2. Shopping Ahead:
To make this Ramadan special, keep in mind you will probably be still eating mostly at home and shopping less often
. (Well, maybe some take out :) So, plan ahead for your groceries! COVID or not, it’s a good idea to stock up so you don’t need to waste time shopping while fasting. Oh, and yes, why not take out those fancy dinner sets? A pretty table can definitely help make things special!
If you’re looking to eat and stay healthy, registered dietitian and Ramadan nutrition expert Nazima Qureshi and her husband physical trainer Belal Hafeez, personal trainer and Ramadan fitness expert work together to provide tips to get through Ramadan in a more healthful way. Check out their course here
. This article also offers great tips
for healthy suhoors and iftars.
5. Prepping Versus Winging It:
If you’re like me, some years fluctuate between how much you can prepare ahead of time or not. Here is a quick list of things to consider
whether you’re prepping or winging it this Ramadan.
Islamic Lectures & Programming
Organizations and masajid are coming together to provide ways for spiritual healing as well as prepare for Ramadan. Here are a few places you can put on your calendar for daily, weekly and monthly programming and lectures pre-Ramadan and once the month begins.
1. Reflections with Imam Omar Suleiman:
Imam Suleiman has vamped up Ramadan prep videos on his Facebook
page. During Ramadan he usually shares daily thoughts at 9 p.m. live
and Friday lectures at 2 p.m. weekly. The imam narrated a two-season mini-drama series called Inspiration
, featuring the character and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), a Ramadan rerun favorite in my home.
3. Islamic Foundation:
Last year they had daily programming in the evenings from stories of the companions to tafsir. Check out their YouTube channel here
4. Sacred Learning:
This organization has Islamic podcasts family programming, including mental health resources. Sign up for their Welcome Ramadan webinar
, which will cover spiritual and legal aspects of the month.
5. Qalam Institute:
Based in Dallas, the institute aims to provide “accessible Islamic knowledge,” through a Qalam Podcast, with episodes like Ready for Ramadan
by Abdul Nasir Jangda. Check out resources here
. Qalam will host a free Ramadan webinar
April 10 at 3 p.m.
If you’re a new Muslim suhaibwebb.com
is a place to go for courses
on Islam and all the 101 information, especially for teens and youth. Stay updated with this calendar
on upcoming programming.
7. Salam Youth:
Last year Masjid Al Salam’s youth group in Michigan had a popular kid-friendly Stories of the Prophet series on Instagram
with Br. Belal Elkadri. Ramadan programs include tajweed
, DIY crafts for kids, purification series, Quran and nasheed nights. Salam Youth is hosting a Ramadan program
March 28 at 2 p.m., and a “Racing Through Ramadan
'' series with Br. Belal and Br. Oussama Ajerd beginning April 10.
8. American Learning Institute for Muslims (ALIM):
This institute focuses on scholarly learning and increasing knowledge. ALIM will have a post Ramadan summer program in Canton, Michigan July 25-August 14 to help extend your Ramadan worship beyond the fasting month. Sign up here
. There is also a virtual book club
led by Ustadh Ubaydullah Evans.
10. The Rahmah Foundation:
This foundation is focusing on preparing women for Ramadan. Their latest videos
talk about food and nutrition, and the foundation offers free Ramadan courses
11. Community Du’a:
Imam Khalid Latif of the Islamic Center of New York University hosts community du’as
and supplications, which he shares on his Facebook page. You can request a personalized dua here
12. Islamic Society of North America:
ISNA brings on a special speaker for Friday Reflections
at 12:30 p.m. EST.
This women-led organization has a $35 Ramadan Ready course
with founder Dr. Tamara Gray and other speakers, providing an overview of fasting, spirituality and health. The course is April 10-11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST.
14. MAS Youth Ramadan:
From 2006-2013 Mas Youth recorded seven seasons of In the Shade of Ramadan
about various topics of faith.
Ramadan Decoration Prep
Image source: Danah Shuli
Preparing your home for Ramadan is a newer trend in North America, while Muslims around the world regularly decorate their homes and towns for this holy month. These guides and resources will help you get your home in tip-top shape for Ramadan!
1. Cover the Basics:
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to decorating for Ramadan, here are five ways to decorate,
from outdoor lights to indoor lamps.
2. Kid-Friendly Decor:
Here’s some tips for busy moms on decor
(tip: printables!). Ramadan provides a way to implement Ramadan in your home – from using creating an itikaf
tent for the kids to read Quran to displaying banners and activities baskets.
5. DIY Crafts:
Not a person who likes to spend a ton on decoration but wants to remain festive? Try following this DIY Eid banner
. Here are nine other great activities
(including decor) you can do with your kids to prep for and do in Ramadan!
Image source: Pexel
Spirituality is a big part of Ramadan. There are many online offerings out there, from creating spiritual goals to how you can schedule Quran into your day to amping up your charitable giving. When deeds are multiplied up to 70 deeds more per deed in Ramadan, it’s essential to keep your A-game up in this department. Here are some places to start.
1. Al-Maghrib Tafsir:
Understanding the Quran is a part of reflecting and learning from it. Al-Maghrib offers wonderful courses to help you with this in Ramadan (and after). Stay tuned with https://www.almaghrib.org/
2. Spiritual Goals
: Whether you’re on your own, part of a small family or a large one, creating spiritual goals individually and/or as a family
helps keep you on course to reaping rewards in Ramadan, like reading more Quran and praying.
We’ve tried our best to gather as much as we can for you in one spot, but we know there’s more out there! Share with us in the comments below what we missed, and we’ll try and add it to this list!