Ramadan 2021

Ramadan in UAE: E-learning gives 8-year-old chance for first fasting

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on April 15, 2021

Eight-year-old Raya Fatima has always looked forward to her first fast. Finally, the day has come.

Until last year, her mother was not willing to let her fast for the whole day as she was going to school and would get tired by the time she was back home. Taking advantage of the distance learning option this year, she managed to convince her parents to allow her to fast this Ramadan.

“The whole idea of getting up for Suhoor, praying during the day, and preparing for Iftar has always been fascinating to me. And although I would get up for Suhoor and try not to eat all day, my mum would feed me lunch after I return from school, saying that for little kids, Iftar time can be a bit earlier. But this year I demanded that I would fast full day, as we didn’t have physical school, and my parents agreed,” Fatima said.

The third-grader started preparing for the holy month almost 15 days before it started. She even created a diary specifically for her musings and learnings this month.

“I decorated it with colours and jotted some points about the importance of the holy month. I also made a calendar within the diary where I would mark the fasts I keep this year and would rate my experience with stars on it. I feel super excited and enthusiastic getting up for Suhoor each day and helping mum with Iftar.”

Her mother, Rubab Zahra — an artist as well as homemaker — said she was glad and proud of the positive change she had seen in Raya during the holy month. “I am so happy at the self-control, compassion and patience Raya is displaying as she fasts. I’m glad I allowed her to fast as she is setting a very good example for her siblings and friends, bringing out the best version of herself,” Rubab said.


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These prayer timings are for Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. For Abu Dhabi, add four minutes. Deduct four minutes for Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, and six minutes for Fujairah.

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