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Ramadan: how to support your Muslim friends at university who are taking part

Ramadan started on Sunday; this is the blessed month in the Muslim lunar calendar, where Muslims fast from dawn until dusk.

Fasting is the act of abstaining from eating and drinking and during Ramadan acts of anger and immorality are also discouraged, while prayer, reading the Q'uran and charity are encouraged. This tradition can feel quite different if you aren't part of their religion and it may leave you feeling unsure of how to support your housemates or your friends at university during this time. I've asked some of my friends how they feel their housemates and university friends could help them during Ramadan and these were some ideas that they came up with.

Learn about the religion

A nice thing to do would be to learn more about the religion so you can understand the reasons why they're fasting. Rather than making them feel isolated because of their different beliefs, use it as a way to show you care about them and take interest in their lives. This will help you become more understanding and aware of things you're doing that might make their Ramadan more difficult for them.

Be mindful about prayer times
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? انقدر آدما قبل من و تو بودن که غصه خوردن، عاشق شدن، فارغ شدن، فحش و بد و بیراه گفتن، اونقدر آدم بوده که برده و باخته و گذاشته و رفته، خودشو گم و گور کرده؛ اونقدر آدما به گذشته هاشون فکر کردن و حسرت خوردن و شاید گریه کردن،شایدم خندیدن! حالا چی؟ آخرش چی؟ آخرش اگر نرسیم به غایتمون پوچیم میشیم هیچی! برای فرار از هیچ، این فرصتو غنیمت بشماریم، فرصت رسیدن به این ماهو، دستمونو میگیره خدا، هرکی هستیم، هرچی هستیم... بشنو صدای خدا رو... شَهْرُ رَمَضانَ الَّذی أُنْزِلَ فیهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدىً لِلنَّاسِ وَ بَیِّناتٍ مِنَ الْهُدى‏ وَ الْفُرْقانِ فَمَنْ شَهِدَ مِنْکُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْیَصُمْهُ وَ مَنْ کانَ مَریضاً أَوْ عَلى‏ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّهٌ مِنْ أَیَّامٍ أُخَرَ یُریدُ اللَّهُ بِکُمُ الْیُسْرَ وَ لا یُریدُ بِکُمُ الْعُسْرَ وَ لِتُکْمِلُوا الْعِدَّهَ وَ لِتُکَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلى‏ ما هَداکُمْ وَ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَشْکُرُونَ.. ‎#رمضان #رمضان_الکریم #ramadan

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Respect when your housemates or your friends are praying and don't be loud or disruptive. Remember that Ramadan is a holy event, so be respectful.

Help make food for Iftar

Iftar is the time when Muslims break their fast. Why not help them by offering to cook and get involved in their culture, you might even learn how to cook something delicious.

Join them

Sometimes Muslims invite their non-Muslim friends to fast alongside them, although this isn't always for everyone—so don't feel pressured to do so if they ask you—it will help you to understand how difficult Ramadan can be for people.

Sit with them while they eat

You wouldn't like sitting and eating alone every night for a month, so why would they? If you're awake and able to, join them when they eat. You can still use this as a time to catch up and discuss each other's days like you would at a normal dinner time.

Be respectful and encouraging
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İstanbul'un en canlı noktasına, Kapalıçarşı'nın Cağaloğlu ve Çemberlitaş'a açılan kapısının önünde yer alan Nuruosmaniye Camii'nin yerinde, daha önceden Şeyhülislam Sadeddin Efendi'nin eşinin mescidi bulunuyordu. 1748'de bu yapı yıkılmaya yüz tutunca, Sultan I. Mahmud'un emriyle cami ve külliyenin yapımına başlanmıştır. Sultan 1. Mahmud'un ölümüyle, kardeşi 3. Osman tarafından 1755 yılında tamamlanmıştır. Bu yüzden, "Osman'ın nuru" anlamında Nuruosmanî olarak adlandırılmıştır. Mimarı Mustafa Ağa ve yardımcısı Simon Kalfa'dır. #turkey?? #islam #osmanlı #kapalicarsi #nuruosmaniyecamii #nuruosmaniye #mosque #mustafaağa #istanbul #eminonu #islampost #islamic #ramazan #ramadan #ramadanmubarak #çemberlitaş #namaz #sanat #mimari #tarih #dua #sultan #minare #kubbe

A post shared by Camii Günlüğü (@day1mosque) on

Don't make their days more difficult by taunting them with food or criticising their choices. Instead, be supportive and encouraging. Tell them that they can do it, cheer them on and be a positive influence in their life during their holiest month.

Even if you're not religious, you can help your friends this Ramadan with these ideas. Your differences don't have to mean a lack of understanding and there are always ways to support loved ones around you.