Ideas for Iman-Filled Ramadan Gatherings
Ramadan is here and we are all excited. But, somewhere deep inside we all miss the Ramadans prior to this pandemic, don’t we? Yes, we miss gatherings with our families, friends , neighbours, colleagues, we miss sharing food with each other, we miss meeting and greeting people at masjid during Taraweeh prayers and a lot more. It has been a long time since we actually hugged each other to say Eid Mubarak. Don’t worry, let’s put our trust in Allah, the almighty and hope everything comes back to normal soon, In sha Allah!
Till then, let’s find out ways to strengthen the bonds with our loved ones and at the same time reap the benefits of this holy month. Here, you will find a few ways to utilise your time and technology to be close to one another even when thousand miles away. Let’s begin within our own family first. As mentioned in a hadith by Prophet Muhammad “Whoever severs the ties with his family, he will notice enter Paradise”.(Al Bukhari). So, our main intention behind these gatherings should be to increase the love we share within our family members while working on achieving the blessings of this beautiful month.
For a well organised gathering, it’s always better to have teams and a leader for each team who’s accountable for the participation of team members. For example, if you’re planning for a gathering between you and your siblings, you, your husband and kids make a team and likewise each sibling will form their own team and each team should have a leader. The leader would be the one who ensures team members are actively involved in the gathering and related activities. Groups could be formed within your other extended families as well. And don’t forget a kids group too.
Now, make a WhatsApp or Telegram group solely for the purpose of these Ramadan gatherings , you can name it ‘Ramadan Mission 2021’ or ‘Bonding over blessed month’ -whatever you like.
Each day, each group will post a Dua a day – with meanings. The leader of each group should put a green tick under that Dua, once all the members of his/her group have learnt that Dua. (Duas could be duas from quran or hadiths or small daily life duas, as team members include small children too, so keep it simple.)
Choose a time that’s convenient for all and try to dedicate at least 1.30 hours a weekend for seeing each other and talking. This session is solely for Ramadan reflections. After this is done, of course you can have personal discussions.
During this meeting, the leader of each group should ensure all the family members are present. In this session, elder members of each group will briefly speak on how the week, what all they’ve missed, what they think they could improve on and what are the things that made them happy when they think of this week and so on.
Last but not least, at the end of this discussion, it’s the turn of the little team mates. Here are a few ideas for them : story telling competition, poem recitation or hadith presentation, Islamic drama or cooking demonstration. Each week you can keep a theme in prior, so that they can prepare well and present.
Keep scores for everything you do as a part of this Ramadan gathering. Only when there’s a competition, teams will be encouraged to do things quicker and as best as they can. At the end of Ramadan , the team who had the highest scores could be given a small gift or gift voucher. The fund could be initially collected from all groups or if any one is willing to sponsor. After all, we should expect from Allah for all these good deeds, but our tiny members need to be motivated and their efforts should be appreciated too, right?
Kids always get attracted to colourful and shiny things. A pleasing Ramadan corner at your home could be made to have a festive feeling in them. Let them take initiative in decorating. This way they become independent in decision making, they become more responsible and ultimately they would be happy to welcome Ramadan every year. Also, capture a good video of it to post in the group. So, each group will have their own Ramadan corner at home and it would be great to see different creative ideas coming from the same family.
Finally, when we bid adieu to Ramadan, it’s the time to celebrate Eid ul Fitr. So, with all the energy and team spirits we gained throughout this holy month, let’s continue that for Eid as well. virtual gatherings can also be done similarly, many have already done that during last year’s Eid. Either we can keep the virtual gathering on the same day of Eid or the next day depending up on everybody’s convenience.
This gathering requires a moderator and he or she should ensure everybody gets a chance to speak to each other and share their thoughts. Each family can show up with their Eid dress and things they’ve prepared or show their home decorations.
Quiz competitions among adults and kids separately can be conducted, various cultural activities can also be included. At the end, the eldest members of each family can share their experiences of their childhood Eid and how it is different now. Believe me it will be so much fun and our bonds become stronger than ever! Imagine just by spending time with your loved ones, you earn a ticket to Jannah?
So, why wait? Plan ahead for your Ramadan Virtual gatherings with your dear ones!