Sarah Rasul is a Trainee Solicitor in MacRoberts' Construction Law department.
As we enter the final days of Ramadan, it is a time to reflect and look back at a month of fasting, reconnecting with our faith, increasing our charitable contributions and coming together with our friends and families.
As well as abstaining from food and drink (yes, even water), Ramadan gives us the opportunity to dedicate a portion of our time to spirituality, to giving, to reflecting on our own lives as well as the wider world and breaking bad habits.
This year for the first time, I have been working full time as a Trainee Solicitor whilst fasting. Whilst this has come with its challenges, it has inevitably made the month fly by. The firm’s hybrid working policy has been very much welcomed over the last four weeks, where coffee breaks and lunch have been replaced by short breaks throughout the day to pray and refresh the mind. In Scotland, Muslims have been fasting for 16 hours a day – which accumulates to 480 hours of fasting in the last month.
This Friday or Saturday (21 or 22 April), the end of Ramadan will be celebrated by Eid-al-Fitr, also known as ‘the festival of the breaking of the fast’. Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days – the discrepancy comes from the sighting of the new moon. The first day of Shawwal (the 10th month in the Islamic calendar) marks the beginning of Eid-al-Fitr. Eid is a day for celebration and, for many, continuing the good habits and work they have started in the last month. For me personally, although these things are pivotal, an additional bonus to Eid is getting my daily fix of Starbucks.
For most Muslims, the beginning of Eid is marked by morning prayers at the Mosque. Prior to attending the Mosque for Eid Prayers, Muslims are encouraged to give a small charitable contribution, to start the day by eating something sweet and to dress in new clothes.
Personally, Eid for me will be spent praying Eid Prayer at my local Mosque, followed by a day of celebrating with my extended family and friends. Exchanging gifts and money, and enjoying big meals with the family, are also a big part of the day.
As Ramadan draws to a close, it is a good time to wish all those celebrating Eid Mubarak!