Inclusive Ramadan Practice in Quarantine – Part 2

As we get closer to the end of Ramadan, Sabah Choudrey asks the IMI community about their challenges and reflections of Ramadan during a global pandemic.

Ramadan in quarantine has taught me so much about myself and my faith already. I’m adapting my usual Ramadan routines, learning different ways of fasting and trying to be patient with myself throughout it all. I checked in the IMI community to see how they were finding it.


“The course [Queer and Muslim: A Critical Reading] with Dr. amina wadud is still in my heart and mind, and I have started reading the book Ulum Al-Qur’an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an. I want to learn and try to pass on the knowledge to my WhatsApp groups for women only. I would like to do more if Allah provides.”

“I can’t say I am looking forward to anything at the moment, I am still working out a plan to do Ramadan without a physical community. I always turn to the Qur’an, usually reading it daily for the first week or so, but the practice often falls away as the fatigue from fasting hits, it often picks back up in the last days. I am hoping this year to stay focused on the Qur’an and because I won’t be fasting. One year I blogged my fasting experience, finishing each post with my favourite passage from the Qur’an reading of the day. I think I will attempt to resurrect that.”


“I am eight months pregnant and knew that I wouldn’t be fasting this Ramadan. In fact I was secretly glad to have an excuse: I have found the summer fasting months particularly gruelling even when opting for shorter hours. This Ramadan I thought I would have the best of all worlds, guilt free non-fasting days, time to focus on my connection to Allah AND all the wonderful iftars with friends, family and the IMI community. Now that we are in quarantine I’m not sure how to approach Ramadan. My partner isn’t Muslim so though there will be more “time” for connection and reflection doing that all alone is particularly daunting.”

“Of all the five pillars, I tend to find Ramadan particularly hard.  Not necessarily the fasting – overall, I think possibly that may be the easiest bit.  For me, it’s the sudden change in my sleeping pattern, and the combination of this and fasting impacting my focus.  Having to study and work, as well as deal with the current situation, has just meant this Ramadan has felt particularly draining a lot of the time.”


“Honestly, just the part where the angels ask Allah why would He place a creation on earth that will destroy it and shed blood. I agree with them! I do not know why. Anyways… “

“My favourite surah at the moment is Surah Duhaa, I particularly enjoy this interactive recitation from Qari Abdul Basit

 “A favourite ayah, well, two, are from Surah al-Isra, verses 23-24.  When I was growing up, my parents had the Marmaduke Pickthall interpretation of the Qur’an, so that version of these verses, in that old English, which I love: “Thy Lord hath decreed, that ye worship none save Him, and (that ye show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with thee, say not “Fie” unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word.And lower unto them the wing of submission through mercy, and say: My Lord! Have mercy on them both as they did care for me when I was little.”


“I am going into Ramadan in these strange circumstances without too much expectation on myself or those around me. If I get to “feel” Ramadan I will consider myself blessed but if it feels like just another day in quarantine that’s ok too. We’re in crisis, people around us and those we love are going through immense difficulty. I don’t expect that I or anyone around me will have anything like a “productive” Ramadan in the way we might want or expect.”


“This [pandemic] situation removed all the unimportant things . Because of that I have been able to study the Qur’an more, listen to lectures (not all good), and have a clear mind to think about the Qur’an. I should really meditate and do more adkhar (remembrance out loud) but I always fail. However, taking care of my mum during this time has brought peace to my heart. I never had a good relationship with her but knowing that I am doing what I can to keep her safe puts things in a better perspective.”

“The things that have kept me motivated have been connecting with friends who are also fasting; the rare moments where I have read and recited Qur’an, especially when I’ve been reminded I have memorised a little more than I realised; and reminders from others that even the struggle can hold reward.”

 “I have stumbled into aromatherapy and mediations, largely because I want to use them for pain relief during labour. Every day (or other day), I find a dark, quiet spot, put on my diffuser with lavender or frankincense, play qawwalli (I recommend this playlist on Spotify: Jashn e Qawwali) or Qur’an and just lose myself in the moment. It is wonderfully freeing.”

“A small thing, but keeping my curtains open until dark, and then just having low light, sometimes even candle-light, has been something that has made sunset and nightfall particularly peaceful this Ramadan, without a rush to eat.  Also dedicating the evening and night to the rituals – from iftar to Taraweeh.”


Turning to the Qur’an whether it is the book itself or words spoken by scholars, especially feminists scholars, can give us much needed focus, especially when we are not able to meet physically with our communities. As we continue to adapt our daily routines for the month of Ramadan, we adapt many other parts of our lives due to quarantine. Through this I hope we can see the divine resilience and resourcefulness within us to see us through challenges.  

Image copyright Wasi Daniju


  • Surah Duhaa- Chapter of the Qur’an called The Morning Hours
  • Ayah – verse of the Qur’an
  • Surah Israa – Chapter of the Qur’an called The Night Journey
  • Iftar – the evening meal to break the fast
  • Taraeh/Taraweeh – extra prayers at night that only prayed during Ramadan
  • Qawwalli – devotional music