We support many people who observe Ramadan but while many of us can take acts of devotion for granted, those with sight and hearing loss can find it difficult to fulfil many of the basic requirements of Ramadan. To help make Ramadan easier for those with sensory loss, we have compiled some best tips to help you have a blessed Ramadan.
Ramadan and medication
Islamic scholars are in unanimous agreement that if you are taking medication, and that stopping the medication in order to fast would damage your health, then fasting is not obligatory for you. If you are unsure of the risks, always consult a medical professional before fasting.
Using eye drops while fasting
Based on the opinions of Islamic scholars such as Sheikh Uthaymeen and Mufti Taqi Usmani, using eye drops while fasting does not invalidate your fast.
Charity giving in place of fasting
If your medication requirement restricts your ability to fast, then giving a type of charity called Fidiya can help you feel part of Ramadan while also helping someone less fortunate in the world. Paying Fidiya means you should feed a hungry person (two meals per day) if you are able to. Please consult an Islamic scholar for further details.
Your daily routine over Ramadan might change, with more visits to the mosque or an influx of relatives coming for the Iftar meal. Keep batteries for hearing aids and lens cleaner for your glasses nearby.
Traveling to the mosque
If you’re intending to go to mosque for Tarawih prayers, arrange your travel plans well in advance. Perhaps you can arrange to go with a family member of close friend to a mutually agreed mosque. Allow for more time if the mosque is further away.
Keep the lights on
Many of us can be more active after Iftar, keeping your lights on will make it easier to get around. If you’re living with family remind them to keep background noise, such as televisions or radios, to a minimum.
Add some colour to table settings
Whether you’re hosting or attending an Iftar meal, consider using coloured glasses to help you identify water and soft drinks. You could also go for darker plates to help your food contrast from the plate itself. If guests are serving for you, ask them to arrange food like a ‘clock face’, for example, samosas at 12 o’clock, yogurt at 3 o’clock.
If getting out to the shops is overwhelming, many online shops can deliver most things. Ask a friend or family member to help you choose food and gifts or use the accessibility settings on your computer or tablet. Sites such as Amazon offer gift wrapping for a small charge.
Ask others to help
If you’re surrounded by others then ask them to introduce themselves clearly when they enter the room or shut down exterior noise. You can also ask them to describe their Eid gifts so that you don’t miss out.
Avoid the shops
There are lots of reasons to avoid the shops, so make things easy for yourself by shopping online. If online shopping is not for you, many shops now have ‘quiet hours’ where there is lower lighting, less noise and fewer people.
All in one
Lots of supermarkets, including Asda and Tesco supply many of the things you might require for Ramadan or Eid. You can even order for home delivery, they can supply items such as flour, oil, rice and some even supply halal meat. This might be easier than trying to find each item individually, in different shops.
Get wrapped up
If you struggle with fiddly bits of cellotape and awkward wrapping paper, then save yourself the hassle and use gift bags or boxes instead!
Make games more inclusive
If you’re getting together with family on Eid day, there’s no reason why you should sit out on all the fun. Try playing some board games that everybody can join in and enjoy.