Ramadan 2021

Ramadan in UAE: Five-year-old completes her first fast

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on April 23, 2021 | Last updated on April 23, 2021 at 12.29 am
Haleema Ziva Aashfee

Her parents said they felt extremely proud at the fact that she had managed to complete her fast without getting cranky

Last year, little Haleema Ziva Aashfee — who was not even five then — tried to complete a fasting day. However, she had to break it mid-way because of extreme exhaustion. Now, with renewed vigour and enthusiasm, the five-year-old vowed to fast all the way until the Maghrib prayer. And she did.

“It’s typically hard to wake Ziva up so early in the morning. But when she decided to fast, we just called her name once at Suhoor time and she jumped out of bed and came to the table for her meal,” her father Aashfee Hameed said. “We were quite happy to see her enthusiasm and hoped she would be able to pull it off this time.”

Hameed said Ziva had been waiting for this day since last year and began her fast with so much energy, praying and discussing how she would spend the day with her eight-year-old sister Zoya, who had kept 10 fasts last year and was aiming to break that record this year.

As the day progressed, though, little Ziva started feeling tired. “She was enthusiastic till afternoon and was playing with her sister and friends, but at around 3pm, she started to get tired. Her mum convinced her to sleep, which she did. At 5pm, she woke up and offered her prayers (asr salah) and tried to distract herself by playing on her Ipad and other gadgets,” Hameed said.

“At around 6.30pm, 15 minutes before Iftar time, she began to say ‘I think I need to eat’. We encouraged her, saying that you have done a marvelous job so just hold on for another 15 minutes. Since she was totally exhausted, she slept off again on the couch waiting for the call to Maghrib prayer.”

When Ziva woke up, it was already Iftar time. “She was very happy and sat with everyone to open her fast, feeling accomplished,” Hameed said.

Her parents said they felt extremely proud at the fact that she had managed to complete her fast without getting cranky, showing immense patience throughout the day.

“She conducted herself so well that we were happy that she managed to fast at such a young age without us having to push her or tell her to fast. As a gift, we ordered her favourite meal that night and everyone praised her and motivated her for her accomplishment.”


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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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