Beyond the fast: what Ramadan means to me

Sonia Ashraf
Sonia Ashraf
Brand and Clubcard Executive

I personally really look forward to this time of year. For me it’s a spiritual and blessed month where I try and focus on my faith and giving to the less fortunate.

Fasting during this month means refraining from eating and drinking between the hours of sunrise and sunset, which includes no water and chewing gum either, which I get asked a lot!

My journey during Ramadan

My typical day during Ramadan consists of waking up just before sunrise (also known as Suhur) for the pre-fast meal and I eat a normal breakfast which is usually porridge, tea and plenty of water. This will be my only meal before the breaking of fast at sunset, known as Iftar, so I do try and make sure I’m pretty full.  Your timing will depend on which city you live in, so people generally go by timings published by their local mosque. 

Throughout the day I focus on my own religious journey and try and read my five daily prayers. During the rare times it gets a little tough, my friends and I encourage each other and remember the main purpose of fasting.  It’s to put yourself in the shoes of the less fortunate and really be grateful and appreciative for what we have. This is why my family and I also make sure we give to charity as much as we can. 

As well as the appreciation and gratitude factor, I see fasting as really detoxing and feel that this time brings me closer to God on a spiritual level and I focus on bettering myself in terms of faith and as a person. 

Ramadan is also a time when my family become closer, we make sure we get together each evening and open our fast together, initially with a date which is traditional. 

Our iftar dinner usually consists of fruit salad, to get a little goodness, and we have a mix of Asian and western dishes with plenty of water to stay hydrated. We tend to take a more sensible approach and not over-eat.

How Tesco Bank has supported me

It really helps that Tesco Bank has been super supportive, offering flexibility and adjusting work patterns to make sure I’m comfortable and can effectively use my time and energy throughout the day. My colleagues are very respectful and are supportive of me taking breaks for my daily prayers.

My faith is a huge part of who I am and I’m grateful I can be myself at work and can participate in Ramadan knowing I have the full support of Tesco Bank and my colleagues.

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