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ICCI Youth Club Bids Farewell to Ramadan Online 2021

This year’s Ramadan Program was really special and unique for all of us. We did our best in the circumstances we found ourselves in to 'Explore the Spirit of Ramadan'. The COVID-19 pandemic marked one year since it’s outbreak and another Ramadan lockdown again. However that did not put us off, in contrary it was the cause of yet another truly unique state of affairs for all of us. We had to spend another Ramadan apart but virtually connected. 

It was very unique experience for everyone and it helped us to rethink and to appreciate the blessings we have. Blessings, which we were deprived of, because of the lockdown, and blessings which many times we take for granted. We used this blessed time to help us to renew our connection and communication with Allah and the Quran, and to improve our commitment and worship of Allah.

This year, the Youth Club of ICCI ran its Ramadan Program separate for each age group – Senior and Junior boys and girls, from the 13th of April to the 12th of May 2021.

For the boys age group 15-19 years there were daily meetings after salah Asr, and for the boys age group 12-15 years there were meetings every Saturday and Sunday 3:00pm-4:00pm. The girls age group 9 - 12 years met Wednesdays and Sundays at 6pm and the age group 13 - 18 years met on Sundays at 2pm with Sr Amilah.

Every day for the entire month the boys met in front of their screens after salatul Asr and connected to our daily ZOOM meeting which were full of reminders, games, charity, quality time and virtual Iftars together. The elements of the Ramadan program included:

  • Zoom Online Halaqah/meetings 
  • Daily video reminder
  • Daily Hadith about the virtues of Ramadan
  • Memory lane flashback with pictures from previous programs with the boys
  • Live Group and Individual Qur'an Khatmah reading
  • Charity Online
  • Practical Dawah Training 
  • Virtual Iftars 
  • Live coverage of the boy’s different charity challenges while fasting, in different locations around Dublin and in Ireland.

We did our very best to ensure that this Ramadan was extra special, creating emphasis on the following:

  • Connecting to the Qur'an with knowledge and action
  • Compassion by sharing and providing for the needy
  • Helping and sharing in a good cause
  • Strengthening friendships and having fun

The Youth had the opportunity to learn and experience the importance of Dawah by giving the Islamic reminders themselves. They shared their daily “Ramadan under Lock Down” experience, fundraised money for charity, read Quran together, learnt to cook new dishes and have that much needed social interaction and laughter with their friends.

The girls youth club restarted at the beginning of Ramadan with a short Ramadan program over the platform of zoom. It was a much needed reunion for the younger group and a new start for the older group with a new group of teens in attendance. Between the two groups they did the following activities:

  • Ramadan Qur'an Challenge (teens)
  • Islamic Reminders
  • Islamic Stories
  • Flashback memory lane with pictures of previous programmes and activities.
  • Breakout room activities
  • Fun Games
  • Art and crafts
  • Quizzes
  • Guest speaker Sr Fatima Halawa presenting the story of the daughter of Rasulullah (peace be upon him), Fatima, to the younger age group.
  • Contributions from the girls themselves to their halaqa (teens)

At the end of every Ramadan we experience mixed feelings of sadness and joy, and this year was no different. We felt sadness because of the departing of this Blessed month, and joy because of the great memories of the time we spent together, even virtually, and the coming of Eid.

Overall, together with Allah’s great reminder about gratefulness, appreciating the many blessing He has bestowed on us with the lock down, the youth had a great time connected on-line together, exploring and utilising the Month of Change thus strengthening their connection with Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala and the Quran, which is the true spirit of Ramadan.  All that and more gave us a unique Ramadan experience, Alhamdulillah. 

~ Zahri (youth@islamireland.ie)