When I asked my children, what gave them comfort in this lockdown Ramadan, their immediate response was the Qur’an, our Holy Book. When I also thought about it, the same answer was also my initial reaction. My husband finds solace in meditating using prayer beads that we call tasbih.
Upon reflecting further, there is a non-tangible item that brought me so much comfort, peace and a quiet elevation in my heart – a feeling like I am ready. I can face it. I am here. Shaykh Hasan Ali’s meditation called ‘Heart Soothing Dhikr, laa ilaaha illallah’, which can be found on YouTube has really had a profound effect on my spiritual plane. If you listen carefully, the declaration of one God on repeat, fills your heart and soul until it seems like it will burst whilst simultaneously quieting your inner-self from the noise outside. A bit like wearing heavy-duty headphones. When I am podcasting, and I put those headphones on, I feel shut away from the noise of the world. The mic is in front of me, and then there are my thoughts that are vying to escape and pour out into the quiet.
This meditation, or what we call dhikr, is so soothing and if I have it on for a few minutes whilst I am working, I find my tongue moving automatically in sync and my heart is singing in rhythm to the beats bearing witness that there is no God but Allah.
Another unexpected thing that brought me and thousands of mums around the world comfort, is this beautiful community Muslim Mamas – mamas around the world who are always at the ready for Ramadan inspiration, some virtual hugs and words of wisdom.
Especially in these Corona times, I found Muslim Mamas a solace, another place like home. You can be sure to expect some fiery discussion going on, or some funny entertainment some mamas share about their lives or some spiritual gems that we’d forgotten about.
More importantly, I gained comfort from the communal prayers that mamas did, where someone would ask for particular prayers and the whole community would partake in ‘ameen’ or ‘amen’. This beautiful union in lockdown, has got to be the most unique relationship we all built, where we didn’t feel alone no matter where we were. The Muslim Mamas Foodies group shared their iftar by sharing photos of their food and recipes. The Muslim Mamas Book Club shared various inspirational books to read and reflect on for both adults and children. The Muslim Mamas Lifestyle group shared Ramadan decorations and how to make it fun in Lockdown for children and family. Muslim Mamas have over ten groups and in almost all of them, something was going on about Ramadan and lockdown. So, despite being in lockdown in Ramadan, and despite being isolated, we were not spiritually isolated.
There are so many other ways in which this special community brought us all so much comfort and joy. For that, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Last but not least, Omar Suleiman’s beautiful In the Presence of Angels series was a special moment our family looked forward to listening to every day. After Iftar, we all sit, have dessert, talk, laugh, connect and listen to these mini bites where we exclaim in wonder or we fuel further discussions and reflections.
My friend Asma Ali who has a FaceBook page called Mother’s Notebook, brought these mini lectures alive through her journaling, making them so accessible to my children who took joy in learning, recapping, looking at her artwork that brought these stories and lessons alive, enabling them to connect to it.
The outcome was always the same. We leave those precious evenings with a deep love for God and for each other, before some of us fall into bed and some of us into prayer or worship, creating beautiful memories.
By Nafisa Rahimi
Co-Founder of Muslim Mamas, Founder of Super Smart Learners and an award-winning podcast – Not Another Mum Pod. Nafisa graduated from the University of Birmingham in Applied Theological Studies and completed her PGCE in RE and English from the School of Education in Birmingham. She is a self-confessed workaholic living in London with her four children and husband. Nafisa enjoys writing, eating out, travelling and hanging out with the sitcom ‘Friends’.
Museum of London Project Series
The Covid-19 pandemic 2020 was having a huge impact on many aspects of the daily lives of Londoners. The Museum of London thought it was important to record these experiences in order to share and learn from them in the future. One aspect they wanted to capture is the experience of families observing Ramadan during that time. They were interested in how this experience differed to the experience of families in previous years, and how families were adapting to observe Ramadan.
All four audio diary entries and the interview with Saami reflecting on lockdown Ramadan 2020 are now part of the Museum of London’s permanent collection, forming a part of British history! What an honour this has been!
Saami and I (and our family) cannot express how touched we have been by this whole experience. We hope you enjoy listening to these and do share with your friends and families.
By Nafisa RahimiCo-Founder of Muslim Mamas, Super Smart Learners English (a unique educational programme) and an award-winning 'Best Podcast 2020' - Not Another Mum Pod. The audio Ramadan diaries are now a Permanent Collectionof the Museum of London. Nafisa has recently been named in Techmae's ‘Woman Spotlight’.Nafisa's pods regularly make waves, frequently ranking in Apple Podcast charts worldwide (no.12 in Sweden and 13 in UK ). Nafisa faces difficult topics head-on in an attempt to grab the mic, and address Muslim-related issues with authentic Muslim voices. Nafisa lives in London with her four children and husband. She enjoys writing, eating out, travelling and hanging out with 'Friends'! Read all about it here:https://linktr.ee/Nafisa.Rahimi