For most Muslims, Ramadan is family time. You get up together, eat
Iftar together, pray together, etc. But what if you don't have your
family near you?
Waking up in a lonely apartment and eating food you've sometimes
burnt in an effort to catch Suhur in time are some of the realities
of being a single Muslim in Ramadan. But there are ways to make
Ramadan special when you're on your own. Here are a couple of ideas.
Please feel free to post yours at the bottom of this article.
1. Establish a Suhur telephone tree
Get a couple of friends together and establish a
telephone tree to wake each other up for Suhur. Establish a time
to call and a schedule of who will call whom. Make it a little
exciting by adding some funny phrases every week that will really
wake everyone up (e.g. "ASSALAMU ALIAKUM" This is the Suhur
Sister/Bellowing Brother calling. Rise and shine y'all for some
2. Invite people over for Iftar
Even if even you couldn't eat the food the last time you cooked,
invite people over for Iftar. Make it a potluck, order pizza or if
you can afford it, get it catered. The food isn't the thing. The
blessing is in the company, and you'll be rewarded for feeding
everyone. Make sure to especially invite those who are away from
3. Attend prayers at the local mosque/MSA
Even if the Imam's recitation isn't the best and the behavior of
other Muslims can be more than annoying, try to attend Tarawih
prayers organized by your local mosque or your Muslim Students'
Association (MSA). While praying alone in peace and quiet is great,
praying shoulder-to-shoulder with other Muslims with whom you have
nothing in common except your faith is a unique and uplifting
4. Get involved in community programs
It may seem hard to squeeze in time for anything else in Ramadan,
but try, at least once, to do some volunteer work. Cook a meal for
those who attend the MSA Iftar; volunteer for a day at a soup
kitchen; help make or distribute flyers for a Ramadan program; make
Ramadan Mubarak loot bags of candy for the kids at your local
mosque. The possibilities are numerous. The point is to give to
others so you can get back what's priceless.
5. Keep the Quran playing when you are alone at home
It's often tempting to keep the TV or radio on when we're alone
at home to avoid the silence. This Ramadan, find a
CD or cassette of a Quran reciter you like and play it during
those moments when you want to fill your place with some sound.
Choose selections you'd like to memorize, like the 30th
part of the Quran.
6. Eat properly- don't resort to burnt toast and egg
Not eating Suhur and Iftar properly will make you crabby,
irritated and sick (as opposed to healthy, wealthy and wise).
Establish a personal Ramadan meal plan. Choose healthy, easy-to-make
recipes so you're not scrambling at the last minute for something to
7. Keep in touch with family and friends back home
Send Ramadan e-cards, thoughts, reflections, questions, etc. via
phone or email to family and friends. Keep in contact at least once
a week and share three Ramadan-related things you've done in the
last ten days of Ramadan.
8. Take care of others
Know a new person at the school/office? Is a friend who lives
nearby having problems with their spouse? Or is someone you know
having money problems? This Ramadan, reach out with an attentive
ear, a generous hand, and most importantly, an open heart to others.
Don't let these small opportunities for gaining blessings slip you
9. Decorate your crib
Add some festivity to your spare surroundings by dressing the
place up with a
balloons and streamers. Even after a rough day, coming home to a
decorated home is a boost to the spirits.
10. Pick and pursue Ramadan goals
Choose at least three goals to pursue this Ramadan. Whether it's
curbing a bad habit or starting a good one, doing this will help you
focus and work harder this month to change for the better. It takes
21 days to establish a good habit. With Ramadan, we've got 30. Why
not make the best of it by picking up the good?