As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, the 3.87 million Muslims in the UK will be preparing themselves for a month of fasting, prayer and reflection, and I am one of them. And #CommsHeroRamadan is a great opportunity for anyone, no matter what their religious background, to take part and enjoy the benefits we experience.

Of course, going completely without food or drink in daylight hours is the most unique activity we take part in during Ramadan – yes, not even water – but it’s so much more than that. It’s a time for us to deepen our faith by studying Islamic teachings, praying more regularly, performing acts of kindness towards others, reflecting on our blessings and giving to those in need.

It’s not just about going hungry, it’s about improving yourself, increasing your spiritual connection and doing good to those around you. Whether you’re religious or not, that’s an experience that can be positive for everyone!

You can get involved in lots of different ways:

  • Join Muslim friends and colleagues in the #CommsHero community and refrain from eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset. You may be surprised at how much willpower you have, and the accomplishment you feel after breaking your fast. Not for you? You could try…
  • Skipping a meal if the whole day feels like too much for you, or going without food but allowing yourself to drink water
  • Giving up tea, coffee or your favourite snack for the day
  • Donating to a foodbank or charity
  • Organising a cake sale, charity dinner or iftar (the sunset meal used to break the fast)
  • Cooking or baking something and sharing the food with friends or neighbours
  • Share the #CommsHeroRamadan conversation! Show your support using the hashtag on social media, start conversations with friends or colleagues, and ask questions! Most of us are happy to share their understanding and experiences.

I’ve been lucky enough to have observed Ramadan every year, my whole life. When I was younger it was ‘half-day fasts’ or going without food but drinking water. As I got older, it was the sharing smoothies and Weetabix with my Dad before dawn, resolving to keep the five daily prayers into my routine, and trying to make sure I don’t overdo it with the samosas when the sun sets! I would encourage anyone to join in and experience #CommsHeroRamadan in a way that works for them – you won’t regret it!

By Ruqaiyah Hafeji-Iqbal

Communications and Marketing Officer, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust

Twitter: @ruqaiyahNHS

LinkedIn: Ruqaiyah Hafeji-Iqbal