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Each year millions of Muslims around the world observe the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. The dates of Ramadan change each year due to the Islamic Calendar being based on the cycles of the moon. This year Ramadan began on Saturday 2nd April and will finish on Sunday 1st May.
During Ramadan, Muslims will not eat or drink during daylight hours, this is believed to teach self-discipline and remind them of people less fortunate.
At Audley Villages, a number of team members observe the month of Ramadan, including Rachid, Head Chef at Mote House. We asked Rachid to share an insight into his life during Ramadan.
4:00: I start my day getting up at 4am for Suhoor. This basically means preparation for the next day of fasting. I have some light snacks like dates, fruit, yoghurt and a glass of water.
"Can’t forget my espresso fix either otherwise the coffee withdrawal headache is real!"
4:45: Now that I’m full from breakfast, I wash (Wudu) for morning prayer before sunrise and then rush back under the covers as soon as I can for my last power nap of the day.
9:00: Post nap, I’m up and on a mission to get ready for work. Thankfully not eating or having a drink dramatically cuts my ‘get ready’ routine to barely anything. I then hit the road for my day at work.
10:30: Full steam ahead getting ready for lunch, mise en place and prep. This is where my first test of the day comes in; checking flavours and seasoning without consuming the food. The temptation is high! This involves tasting without swallowing and then washing my mouth afterwards so my fast hasn’t been broken.
14:30: This is my midday prayer time. I usually find a quiet space to pray and reflect for ten minutes. This is an energising break before I’m back to the kitchen ordering and planning for the evening and next morning’s service.
17:30: After planning, I find my quiet space again for afternoon prayer. A short break of contemplation and spiritual searching, and as it’s Ramadan, a moment of reflection and gratefulness for all we have.
"The act of charity, especially in Ramadan, is very important - helping others, donating food, money, and time to charitable organisations and those who need it most."
18:00: Dinner service begins. Sometimes during Ramadan, service is still happening when I have to break my fast which means I break it on the go. You must break your fast when it’s time to do so, even if it’s just a glass of water or a piece of fruit - this is key!
19:50: If dinner service wraps up on time, I’m usually back at home in time to break my fast with my family. The time to break your fast gets later each day by a few minutes so we have a handy calendar on the fridge that lists all the times throughout the month. So it’s time for prayer and then a real rush to get dinner on the table in time. It’s better to opt for a few small plates (tapas style) rather than big meals otherwise you’ll find yourself sleeping in your soup.
21:30: This is the last prayer of the day, followed by long prayers called Taraweeh until 11pm in the local Mosque. Then it’s back home for any last sweet tooth cravings before bed - top tip, leave some sugary snacks on your bedside locker for optimal laziness when Suhoor comes.
Thank you to Rachid for sharing an insight into his life during this extremely important time.
Ramadan Mubarak Rachid and to everyone observing Ramadan.