Ramadan 2021

Ramadan in UAE: School assignment inspires Grade 3 student to fast

Saman Haziq
Filed on April 25, 2021
Supplied photo

8-year-old Fazal made up his mind to fast without publicizing it amongst friends or family.

When 8-year-old Mohammed Daniyal Fazal got an assignment on Ramadan, he thought to himself, why not fast and get a first hand experience of fasting before writing or talking about it.

But Fazal was unsure if his parents would allow him to fast as they were always worried about his meals and his mother would always pack his lunch for school after he opted for blended learning.

Grade 3 student, Fazal then made up his mind to fast quietly without publicizing it amongst his friends or family. “I was quite shocked when I saw Fazal get up for Suhoor without us waking him up. Just the night before, I had taught him about the holy month of Ramadan and its importance in order to prepare him for his assignment. I was happy that through his assignment I was able to teach him about the holy month,” said his mother Uzra Fathima. “However, at suhoor he quietly ate with us without telling us that he would be fasting that day. Later in the morning when I asked him about breakfast, he said he was fasting. I wasn’t sure if he would be able to pull it off for the whole day, so I slipped his tiffin in his bag before he went to school.”

A worried Uzra even called his school – The Central School in Dubai – to check if he had was okay and continuing his fast. “His teacher said he had not informed anyone that he was fasting and only when she asked him about his lunch did he inform her saying: ‘ Teacher, I am fasting’,” Uzra revealed.

Since both his parents - Uzra and her husband Muteullah Qureshi – were working, they didn’t realise that Fazal had managed to keep his fast till they returned from work.

Qureshi said: “We were both surprised to see that he had not eaten his lunch or snacks, and when I asked him about it, he proudly said: ‘ Dad, I am fasting’ and looked so excited and enthusiastic that I didn’t ask him to break his fast.

“We were happy to see him fast effortlessly and that too with a smile.”

Happy and worried at the same time, his parents kept checking on him if he was alright and telling him he could end his fast if he wanted as he was still young. However, little Fazal refused to give in. “Although we had planned previously that we would celebrate his first fast, Fazal’s unplanned fast took us by surprise and we didn’t have much time to prepare, so we dressed him up in new clothes (that we had got him for Eid) and also prepared and ordered his favourite food for iftar. I asked him he could have whatever he wanted for iftar and arranged for it. Being a typical Hyderabadi, Fazal is a foodie and requested for fruit salad, ice-cream and Haleem, which I made for him.”

Inspired by Fazal, his younger sister Samara Hayat, who is only five, also announced that she would also soon keep her first fast, but her parents said that could either be next year or the year after.


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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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