Regardless of religion or creed, whether it is Ramadan, Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah, or Christmas, every family treasures the time spent creating meaningful traditions and memories. Participating in activities and exchanging small gifts that strengthen the bonds between neighbors, and friends, are the treasures of this life. It is in the sharing of these small and universal gestures that brings us closer. And that’s when my friends, we start to build bridges of understanding and compassion for one another. Let’s build bridges this Ramadan, not wall.
Share the Ramadan spirit with your friends, coworkers, and neighbors this Ramadan. With just a little planning ahead, you can easily attempt at least 2-3 of the suggestions every year.
1. First and foremost, make du’a to Allah (swt) to put blessings in your time, your home and all that you do. Telling people about Islam isn’t just street preaching, it is the image of Islam we project to the world. By showing high excellence, manners and conduct at all times, those around you are likely to be drawn to you as a person, and therefore, towards Islam. Make Dua that Allah give you and your family the sincerity, strength, motivation and wisdom to do this.
2. Keep it Simple! When speaking to a non-Muslim, try to mention the simplicity of the religion and what it requires to be a Muslim – believing in one God, acknowledging the Qur’an as a direct revelation from God, and recognizing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the Messenger of God. Then, mention the 5 pillars of Islam and tie back Ramadan being one of the pillars.
3. Bring dates to the workplace for coworkers. Nothing is more symbolic of Ramadan than dates. Create a simple tray of plain medjool dates, or make some fancy ones using our easy chocolate covered dates recipe here. Let your workplace know that you have started Ramadan fasting and answer any questions they may have.
4. Share the Ramadan joy with kids by including them in your Ramadan moon sighting tradition. Let your neighbors’ kids also feel the happiness and anticipation of Ramadan by giving them a moon sighting crown, Ramadan wrist bands, Ramadan pencils, small candy or balloons. If you have school going children, send some Ramadan treats for each of the classmates as Ramadan starts.
5. Put up a Ramadan banner on your entry door to let your neighbors know that you are observing Ramadan. If you want to go one step further, print out a fact sheet on Ramadan and leave by the door to educate neighbors passing by about the blessed month and what it means to Muslims. Our Ramadan Banner is perfect for the door. You can buy the banner HERE.
6. Bake and share. Because we have experienced the joy of receiving cookies outside of my own religious celebrations, we love to share our own goodies during the month of Ramadan. Send cookies to your kid’s friends to school and the school staff. Take a box to your local fire or police department to thank them for their service in the community. Make your Ramadan cookies in the shapes of Islamic symbols such as masjid, minaret or crescent & moon or Ramadan fanoos using the classing cookie cutters from our shop.
7. Send Iftar boxes and/or have an Iftar gathering with neighbors and friends. You don’t have to invite everyone, just the closest neighbors and friends. This past weekend we invited a non Muslim friend’s family and asked him to bring along 3 other families. It was wonderful to make new friends as we broke our fast and talked about Ramadan, Islam, and it’s similarities with Christianity and Judaism.
If you are inviting strangers, make sure to ask about allergies or other food issues before establishing the menu. Include vegetarian and “ethnic” food so there is a variety of food choices for everyone. We catered our food from an Afgan refugee sister. If you have refugee families in your area, it is great to cater from them during such gatherings. If you would rather cook yourself, check our Ramadan page for recipes for easy Ramadan food ideas.
Don’t impose information. Let your non-Muslim guests ask questions, if they want to. Be sure to invite some of your Muslim family and friends who are comfortable interacting with non-Muslims at this interfaith iftar. Brief them about how they should properly share Ramadan with the neighbors and friends. Also, try to have some written material on Ramadan available for your guests.
If you are sending iftar, include a note with the food that you are sharing your Ramadan joy with them.
Whether you do one or multiple of the suggestions to spread dawah and joy of Ramadan, be cordial, generous and friendly.
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