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Summer fun during Ramadan
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 06 - 2015

Amal Al-Sibai
Saudi Gazette

Summer is finally here and so is the beautiful month of Ramadan, which means double the fun!
Since it is Ramadan and you are fasting and it is hot outside, this summer you will have a different kind of fun. You may not be able to go outside or go swimming or travel, but there are lots of fun activities you can do indoors!

l First thing to do if you haven't already done so is to decorate your house with decorations that you made. Make colorful signs and posters that say ‘Ramadan Kareem' and hang them around the house and on the door. Draw pretty pictures of a masjid or a table topped with dates, a water jug, and coffeepot. You can cut out shapes of a crescent moon and bright, yellow stars. You can make a lantern out of construction paper.

l Ramadan is the best time to remember Allah; to thank, praise, and glorify Allah, and to ask for forgiveness – all of these are called dhikr. Set a goal to say at least 100 dhikr every day. An excellent way to count your dhikr is to use a subha or dhikr beads. Make your very own subha using a piece of string and different colored beads – don't forget to tie the string together once you're done. Pick your favorite colors for your subha.

Call out the adhan or the call to prayer five times a day. Each time you hear the adhan from the neighborhood masjid, or on the TV or on your dad's phone, you too repeat the adhan. Call it out in a loud but melodious voice to let everyone in the house know that it is time for prayer.

Go around the world, while staying in your cozy room. Every week, learn about another Muslim country and how its people spend Ramadan. What special foods do they eat during Ramadan? How many rakaat do they pray for taraweeh prayers? How do they celebrate the month? What language do they speak? You can learn about a different country by reading a book, watching a video on youtube, searching the internet, and speaking to a neighbor or family friend from that country.

Make a sadaqah or charity jar. Get a clean, glass jar and decorate it with stickers, glass paint, or wrapping ribbons or straps of lace or velvet around it. Every day go around the house looking for loose change or coins dropped here and there and put them in the jar. At the end of each week, you and your family can find someone in need to donate the money to.

Memorize the words for the duaa or supplication that Muslims should say when they break their fast. Each evening of Ramadan, when the sun sets as you put the first date in your mouth, you should say this duaa: O Allah I fasted for You and I believe in You and I break my fast with Your sustenance. The thirst is gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is confirmed, if Allah wills.

Bake cookies! Have an adult help you mix together a basic sugar cookie recipe. Roll out the dough and use star shaped and crescent shaped cookie cutters to make special Ramadan cookies.

Read books about Ramadan and Eid.
Set up a room in the house or a corner of a room as a masjid. Make sure you pick a quiet area of the house. Lay out soft rugs on the floor. On the side of the wall, hang up posters that you made by drawing with markers the name of Allah in Arabic. Pray the daily prayers in the masjid that you have created. Add extra cushions so if members of your family want to read the Holy Qur'an in your little, quiet masjid.

Make a drum. Recycle an oatmeal container or a coffee tin, and decorate it as you wish. Use the drum to wake the family up for the sahoor meal or beat on your drum to sing Ramadan and Eid songs.
These are only a few ideas to help you have a great summer and a wonderful Ramadan!

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