This week, dozens of children were pleasantly surprised as an envelope specially addressed to them was delivered in the post. As they opened the special package with anticipation, their eyes beamed as a colourful certificate with their name unexpectedly greeted them!
Just over one month after the end of our fasting month of Ramadan, the Barbados Association of Muslim Ladies rewarded over 60 girls and boys with a “Certificate for Fasting”. Parents and guardians were asked in the final days of Ramadan to submit the names of children/wards who had attempted to fast and were successful, also indicating the number of day(s) the child had completed. The response was astounding, and we were happy to receive names from children as young as four, who attempted the fast. BAML Executive Member, Sumaiya Chauhan who spearheaded the initiative shared:
“Ramadan is a blessed month for all Muslims. As parents, we need to make Ramadan exciting and encourage our children to take part. Children are always eager to try fasting and it is our duty to give them encouragement and a good experience so it can become easy and natural as they grow older.”
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the holy month of fasting, spiritual reflection and prayer for Muslims. It is a complete fast, as Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. Children who have not yet reached puberty are not required to fast; however, they enjoy participating in the fast and experiencing the ‘spirit’ of Ramadan. Young children may be encouraged to try fasting for a few hours or half a day to start.
This year, Ramadan came at a time when Barbados and the world were facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As families were confined to their homes, common activities such as gathering with extended family and friends for Iftaar (fast breaking), Jummah and Taraweeh prayers and the final Eid celebrations were not able to take place with its usual grandiosity. However, it provided an opportunity for children, who would otherwise be at school, to attempt fasting. In Sha Allah, (If God wills) we hope to continue this initiative in the future and thank parents/guardians for helping us to reward their little ones!
Received your special delivery ? Share your photo with us on social media @baml_bb.
For those who have submitted names and have not yet seen it in the post, do not worry, it is on its way!
Writer: Firhaana Bulbulia