Muslim men reflect on a domestic Ramadan in lockdown

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    Muslims around the world have had to shun the usual communal practices enjoyed throughout the month such as congregational prayers and large iftar gatherings.

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Muslim men have found themselves, perhaps for the first time, contained to the home for Ramadan.

    Prior to the lockdown, Ramadan has allowed Muslim men to worship in the mosque for long Taraweeh prayers while doing charity work, as well as day-to-day work. Some choose to live in the mosque for the last ten days of Ramadan.

    Women take part in similar activities during the month but tend to be more bound by domestic duties.

    Before fasting began, many Muslim men lamented the loss of worship opportunity at the mosque. Muslim women pointed out that for them this is the reality every Ramadan, especially as many mosques do not carve out spaces for female worshippers.

    Ramadan often teases out the annual conversation of domestic responsibility and how women can bear the brunt of housework and preparation of iftar while the men are free to worship or relax.

    But this year has seen an interesting shift as many more men report being more domestic and taking advantage of the unique opportunity to really be present, in a spiritual and pragmatic sense.

    Blogger Farrukh Younus says when Muslim men uphold their family responsibility by doing chores and taking care of the home, they are in line with the ways of Prophet Mohammed, which is documented in scripture.

    He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘This additional time allows men to follow the example of the Prophet, which included household chores (Bukhari #644).

    ‘This particular hadith (en disant) uses the word “mihnah”, meaning, that the Prophet wasn’t just helping his wife, rather, he was fulfilling his share of the household chores.

    ‘It is important to understand that the family unit would divide between them the household chores. Some were hers, some were his, and sometimes they did them together, sometimes separately.

    ‘Both husband and wife shared the responsibility of looking after the home: it was never a woman-only job. To imply it is is to reject the example of the very Prophet every Muslim insists they follow.

    ‘If Prophet Muhammad could patch his own clothes and even sew, surely men today can pick up an iron and press their own clothes

    Bien sûr, that’s not to say that Muslim men are all slackers and many may see no changes in the way their household operates.

    But according to a study conducted by University College London, gender norms remain strong’ when it comes to household chores, with women clocking up 16 hours while men do six.

    A global pandemic throws many regularities off-kilter. Et cette année, many men have used the chance to do their share.

    We spoke to some Muslim men who reflected on their lockdown Ramadan. Here’s what they had to say:

    ‘The energy of Ramadan has been different. It’s special to see my children throughout, the spare time has allowed us to have productive interactions.

    ‘Working from home, helping with the schooling and being free to assist my wife more with chores and food preparation has made it a rewarding experience. A memorable month.’

    ‘Alhamdullilah (praise be to God), it was great this year actually as I had no work due to social distancing rules (as a driving Instructor). It was great to spend time with the kids as I’m usually rushed off my feet.’

    ‘For the first time I’ve been home for the whole of Ramadan since I was at high school.

    ‘It’s been really good. My mother, wife, two daughters, and I have all been sharing the responsibility of doing the cooking, cleaning and everything.

    ‘I have been able to interact with the kids a lot more, spending some good quality time. The whole experience has been a breath of fresh air. I don’t think I will get this time again when everything starts to get back to normal.’

    ‘Honestly speaking, I haven’t helped in terms of cooking but have helped with washing, hoovering etc.

    ‘I have a baby who is six months and I have become so used to giving him feeds and changing nappies. So in terms of domestic work I have been doing probably twice as much as I usually do. I am furloughed so that might have impacted it too.’

    ‘Irrespective of what we do, we are loved and cherished by the women of our homes, first with mum, then by our sisters, wife after marriage and daughters after getting old.

    ‘We are blessed to be treated like kings at our kingdoms by our queens. And they are happier to get more of our time at home. It’s a blessing in disguise for them and us alike.’

    ‘The only difference this year is that I’ve done some of the cooking from recipes I found online.

    ‘And I’m trying to convince my mum to just load everything into the dishwasher instead of washing up every day.’

    ‘It made me spend more time at home. toutefois, I’m staying with a bunch of similar-minded college guys so for me it’s been a fun experience.

    ‘Our food has been delicious. And friends and family members have also sent us delicious meals.’

    Mais, Farrukh says, we shouldn’t forget the important lessons and shared dynamics we picked up during this time.

    He says: ‘History shows us that managing household matters was something done together, between husband and wife, as done by the Prophet.

    ‘Surely this is the meaning of love in our religion where husband and wife, together, lift one another up to please God

    MORE: Muslims Who Fast: Qais, who is supposed to be doing his GCSEs this week, enjoys a stress-free Ramadan

    MORE: Website automates donations so Muslims can give to charity equally in the last ten days of Ramadan

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    La source: https://metro.co.uk/2020/05/22/muslim-men-reflect-domestic-ramadan-amid-pandemic-12726417/

    Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, Coronavirus, musulman

    Nouvelles du monde – CETTE – Muslim men reflect on a domestic Ramadan in lockdown

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