This is our third Ramadan in Finland.
Each year, there’s always something new we learn from the experience.
This year, most Ramadan is taking place while school is still open. 2km each way walking from home to school, it is tough. Being among the small minority at school, they have to face many challenges. Our children need motivation.
One of our kids is participating in the school trip that has been planned since last year. The homeroom teacher contacted me asking information for separate arrangement to be made for our kid. I told her that my kid will not fast during the school trip because traveling itself is already considered as a valid and legal reason to exempt someone from fasting. So he will fully participate in all activities. At the same time, I remind our kid to keep in his mind that it is still Ramadan, so he should continue to respect it, abstaining himself from ill manners, remember Allah, and not to forget that he needs to compensate all the missed days later outside Ramadan.
Muslims in Oulu are basically grouped into there choices referring to which timetable they are using for Ramadan. Some are following Makkah timetable like previous years. Another group sticks with local timetable and the other group is following the mosque decision to fix the entire Ramadan to one timetable that is based on the last day when true dawn exist which was on the 8th of April 2019.
We follow the third option because we always prefer to align ourselves with the mosque to balance between personal and social dimension of the ‘ibadah. So this year, we start fasting at 4:25 am and break at 8:36 pm, everyday.
The condition we’re living in Finland is enforcing us to be more modest in fulfilling our Ramadan, concentrating more on the ‘ibadah itself and keeping our selves away from all the unnecessary norms around Ramadan including over eating when breaking the fast, etc.