Ways to Stay Productive in Ramadan Involving Nature.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is one of the holiest months for Muslims. Within this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for 29/30 days. The Islamic Calendar follows the moon in which the commencement of each month is identified by the birth of a new moon/ lunar cycle. There are two ways to “sight” the moon, actual moon sighting or going based off of calculations. There is major controversy on which one to use however, Islam is all about unity and puts emphasis on the fact that a person should follow the way of the community. Here in Champaign-Urbana, the local mosque, Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center (CIMIC) follows calculations in which all the Muslims on campus and in the area follow. 

Why is it Difficult for a Student to Stay Productive During Ramadan?

During Ramadan a person can only eat from sunset to sunrise meaning throughout the day we students do not have the energy or motivation to do our assignments. However, after we eat we all go pray and grind out all the work that we normally would have done during the day. This schedule is not ideal when it comes to exams and quizzes since those are generally taken during the day. Going outside and staying connected with nature is a main way to stay productive. Here are a list of things you can do in order to stay awake and be productive throughout the day even without food as a source of energy.

What are Activities that can be Done in Order to Stay Productive?

  1. Go for a walk.

My roommates and I always go on walks in the middle of our fasts in order to keep our blood flowing and in order to keep us moving. Since everything is online, staying in one place, staring at a screen makes it harder to stay awake and increase our level of drowsiness. 

2. Study in public.

One thing I have realized that works is that when I work or study in public I am more likely to get work done because I am not going to fall asleep in front of strangers. Also, seeing other people around you be productive causes you, yourself to be more productive. There are many places on campus to study outside such as the blue tables by the Union, the Undergraduate Library, and the Siebel Center.

3. Play Sports/Outdoor Activities.

My friends and I will always stop in the middle of studying and working and go play football on the quad. We take thirty minutes out of our day in which we stay active and have a moment of friendly competition where we bond together and then decide to go back to studying. 

4. Schedule out your Day.

Staying productive in Ramadan is one of the hardest things to do. In order to stay productive planning out your day and the times you want to do everything is a good way to keep yourself on track. Have a friend do the same thing because it makes it much easier. 

5. Open your Fasts Outside.

One way to connect with nature during Ramadan would be opening your fast outside with your friends. A few good places would be the Main Quad, South Quad, Japan House, or the blue tables by Grainger. This will not only wake you up in order to do study afterwards but it will allow you to get some fresh air.

Although, staying active and productive in Ramadan is hard, remember to replenish your intentions and your reasons for fasting.

Jasmeena’s Story.

“Nature for my family and I is a form of escape. We leave everything behind and try to look at life with a new perspective. It makes us happy and gives us a fresh breath of air each time. As a mother of a disabled kid, going outside and nature is his main way of freedom. It makes him happy and allows him to feel happy and free. Going outside also allows my kids to interact with each other and the scenery around them. Every time we go out and see the trees and the sea we remind ourselves that there are things in life to always look forward to in any situation. We meet new people who give me advice. It also shows my kids how to be respectful of not only each other but the space around them.”  

  • Jasmeena Masudi