It can’t be said enough how special the month of Ramadan is to a practicing Muslim. It is the time when good deeds are multiplied in rewards and where families and friends gather round for iftar (breaking of the fast) strengthening their ties together, all united by a common cause. For a diverse country like Malaysia this means that non-Muslims are as familiar with the month as the Muslims are. Yet it’s not too late for us to share some tips on how you can support your Muslim friends who are fasting.
1. Avoid eating or drinking in front of them
As a form of respect to your friends who are observing their fast, this is one of the best ways to support them. Though it does them no harm if they see you eating, it will be a gesture much appreciated and valued.
2. A time for giving
Food plays a pivotal role in this holy month so an edible gift will be highly welcomed especially if it’s a dish they can break their fast with. Or if that’s too complicated, a simple gift of dates or even Raya cookies (it’s never too early for these) will do. Your friend will be bowled over by your thoughtfulness and generosity and remember you forever.
3. Be mindful of the breaking of the fast hour
Breaking the fast has to be one of the most anticipated times during the fasting month. For those who have to work long hours at the office it is inevitable that they would have to break their fast there; so a little understanding and support for them to do so on time is vital.
4. Allow time for the extra stuff
Some of your friends who are fasting may also want to perform certain rituals such as reciting the Quran (tadarus) or just spending more time on their prayer mat. All in which will give them extra rewards in this precious month. So being an understanding pal and giving them space to do this would mean a great deal to them.
5. Fast with a friend
Finally, why not fast with them and experience the whole thing yourself. You’ll definitely earn extra brownie points with your friends and at the same time be able to put yourself in their shoes. This will allow you to form a better understanding of what fasting is really like and turn you into a well-deserved friend. You can even don a baju kurung or kurta to get yourself in the mood to fast or when you go visiting the bazaar. We’re positive you’ll enjoy the experience.
So which one of these tips have you tried with your Muslim friends? Do share with us your experience down below.