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Ramadan and heatwave

(70 Posts)
LongStory Mon 15-Jul-13 21:45:36

I've got a lot of respect for the muslim faith and observation of Ramadan, but I'm finding it really difficult that some of the Yr 6 children at my kids' school are fasting in this heat. I worry about dehydration. How are schools dealing with this?

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 15-Jul-13 21:47:38

But in the Middle East it is even hotter and Ramadan is safely observed.

LongStory Mon 15-Jul-13 21:52:19

Yes, but it's closer to the equator so the days are shorter. And society is more geared up for it. Whereas we clash with er... sports day, insistence on water bottles, ice creams everywhere, school plays, prom night etc etc. I guess the schools in our area and others nearby are dealing sensibly.

I will talk to the kids about taking Lent more seriously next year.

numbum Mon 15-Jul-13 21:57:16

Of course it's hotter lonecat but their bodies will be used to the heat. One of my DC has been very poorly due to the heat, if my DC couldn't have had water then they'd be in hospital on a drip. Seems very cruel to me - but I understand it's their religion, beliefs and decision. I don't really know if you can do anything about it though

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 22:04:43

Sorry but forcing a child (through manipulation, pressure or abuse), to fast when they arent even old enough to choose the religion they follow, and simply do it is that is all they know, is awful.

The body is not designed to go for that long without water and sustinance. A grown adult chosing to - fine, but a child? They need nourishment.

TiredyCustards Mon 15-Jul-13 22:06:47

Oh dear, y6 is 10-11 right? Way too young surely. Agree with mortified

LongStory Mon 15-Jul-13 22:10:45

There are many muslim children in the primary school and I think only a very few of them are doing the full fast, so I don't think they are pressured into it. If there were we would be walking towards a major public health problem.

I just asked my son in Yr 8 (not sleeping - heat) if any of his friends are fasting. One of them is - but his family have travelled to Turkey for the month where the days are shorter and they can rest during the day. How sensible!

And I thought my faith - with the endless rigmarole of mummy-pressure at Christmas time - was tough.

numbum Mon 15-Jul-13 22:11:44

The children are only expected to do it once they hit puberty. I suppose some 10/11 year olds are at that stage? Still horrible though. It was light at 4am here (thanks DD for letting me know that) and didn't get dark until nearly 10pm

Pozzled Mon 15-Jul-13 22:13:30

It's not just Y6. I know of children in Y4 who are fasting, although not every day.

LongStory Mon 15-Jul-13 22:16:32

Just found a helpful Q&A online, it sounds fairly sensible unless you hit puberty early...

Do children observe the fasting month of Ramadan?

Muslim children are not required to fast for Ramadan until they reach the age of maturity (puberty). However, in many families, younger children enjoy participating and are encouraged to practice their fasting. It is common for a younger child to fast for part of a day, or for one day on the weekend. This way, they enjoy the "grown-up" feeling that they are participating in the special events of the family and community.

It is also common for children to participate in Ramadan in other ways, aside from the daily fast. They may collect coins or money to donate to the needy, help cook meals for breaking the day's fast, or read Quran with the family in the evening.

At the end of Ramadan, children are often indulged with gifts of sweets and money on the day of Eid al-Fitr.

LongStory Mon 15-Jul-13 22:19:52

I think fasting is manageable, but lack of water is a different thing entirely. My son in Yr 3 (yes, I have a lot of kids!) is in a class where a good third are muslim, and I don't know any who are.

FriendlyLadybird Mon 15-Jul-13 22:28:34

My DS's best friend is fasting. He chose to do it -- at 11 he doesn't have to. I can assure you that his parents wouldn't dream of forcing him, through manipulation, pressure or abuse. He seems to be coping well, though for some reason he still seems to be expected to sit with everyone at lunchtime. That seems mean.

LongStory Mon 15-Jul-13 22:31:45

I agree that's a bit harsh to sit with the others at lunch, but I bet it makes them appreciate their blessings. The Yr 6s I am aware of are staying out of the sun and resting in the break/lunch times at school.

justanuthermanicmumsday Fri 19-Jul-13 20:55:45

As one poster mentioned dehydration. there are things that exempt fasting and nullify it. signs of dehydration would be one. Although pregnancy in itself is not a exemption, if a woman fears for her life or babys she can pass fasting but must make up those thirty days after the birth. I was heavily pregnant twice during ramadan i made them up, but i did feel guilty and left out .

one poster also said its too early aged 10 to force a child to fast or adhere to religion. The fact is all of us are given a belief system and culture to follow from the day we are born, whether tis a set of atheist, agnostic or abrahamic rules the rules are there. The moral system is there, so we all shape our kids minds in one way or another. To suggest people who follow a faith such as islam Christianity or Judaism are forcing religion on their kids via fasting or otherwise is hypocritical in this light.

I don't know how I will feel seeing my kids fast they're not old enough yet, but ill cross that bridge when it arrives. I won't force them to fast if they are clearly ill no loving parent would do that.

you don't actually feel hungry seeing food, the thirst and psychological state is more challenging, least that's how I feel.

Fizzypop001 Fri 19-Jul-13 23:57:19

no one is forcing anyone to fast it is a personal choice that we muslims are happy with. if someone decides to not fast its up to them and longstory just like to say whats it got to do with you whos fasting in your childs class not like its affecting anyone of you in anyway. just mind your own business and deal with your own kids and stop worrying about others. and im sure every child in that class have done fasting as a personal choice and they dont do the whole day like us adults maybe a few hours but its up to them. stop talking about something you dont understand and turn it into something bad because its good and we also give charity to the poor in this properly never given charity in your life stop targeting us muslims because we are human beings with feelings just like you

Fizzypop001 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:00:10

and another thing you dont have to fast if your sick or have medical issues like i said you dont understand

Fizzypop001 Sat 20-Jul-13 00:30:31

morified you are talking rubbish just like to ask you if you know any muslim families that are forcing their children to fast. i would say the answer to that is NO because i know plenty of muslim families and they DONT force their kids to fast and its very clear that you people dont know what your talking about so stop talking rubbish and if you want to understand how ramaden works look it up. and as you were saying about our bodies not being designed for fasting how come muslims have been doing it for generations then and they have come out fine.i do agree with what you said about kids needing food etc for grown but no one is forcing them and they are not expected to do it at all but if THEY want to fast for a few hours good for them and when they want to stop they can. we care just as much about our kids as you do yours

NomDeClavier Sat 20-Jul-13 00:44:51

Whoa! I think the OP has a genuine concern about children she knows and how they are coping during an exceptionally hot Ramadan, and what schools are doing to be sensitive to their needs. It's true schools are really pushing the water bottles etc, and there are lots of events where either the presence of food or the physical activity involved must make fasting hard. Equally the days are very long - much longer than in the Middle East where the tradition comes from - and the lifeste is very different. Not that this makes fasting a bad or crazy idea but it's a different context.

These children are unlikely to be being forced into it but my concern would be whether they are mature enough to manage it sensibly and recognise the signs of, say, dehydration which would permit them to break the fast and take and informed decision. Is upload that's down to the individual families and the support they give the children who are choosing to participate or who are expected to for the first time.

And no, I'm not Muslim but I do observe religious fast days and do give to charity (though what that has to do with it I'm not quite sure).

Fizzypop001 Sat 20-Jul-13 03:45:41

well if these children are fasting for their own religion for a few hours a day im sure parents or teacher and them selves would no when to break it. has op had any issues of these children having problems at school dont think so. so why be concerned when a kids hungry theyll eat because they are not required to fast and They are not forced its a personal choice. i soppose op has followed these kids around the school to see when they break their fast because op doesnt know that but will not be when adults break their fast this thing im sure of. maybe fast 1 to 2 hours and op is getting concerned about nothing you dont know so why talk rubbish. and they also dont fast every day maybe one or more days. nomdeclavier had no issue when they clearly said that we pressure abuse or manipulate our lovely children that we clearly love into fasting is sickening but when i defend what is important to us muslims you say whoa. whatever can clearly see what side your on and you know what dont want to talk to you people because you always think the worst of everything. that child at school is properly very happy doing something good for his religion and theirs op posting this to get sickening comments why not let thatchild do good and let teacher or parent deal with when the child should break it. no op has to post this on mumsnet what exactly are you expecting to get out of that. is she doing anything or asking teacher about it No so not really helping anyone soo pretty pointless and some people commenting no nothing at all. if you dont know nothing then no need to post and as for giving charity i said that to show our good intentions not that you people would understand that

Kirrin Sat 20-Jul-13 04:07:17

fizzypop I think you're being a bit unfair to the op. she appears to be posting from a point of view of seeing how she can help the children who are fasting and shows nothing but respect for your religion. She's pointing out how it is different here because of the long days, the fact that we are not accustomed to this sort of heat and that our society is not geared up the Ramadan in the same way as you would be in the Middle East - everyone around you is still eating/drinking etc. My nephew said today that he walked down the high street and felt totally surrounded by people eating ice creams and drinking ice cold cokes!

There are some people on this thread who have shown ignorance and a lack of understanding of the principles of ramadan but the op is not one of them.

Incidentally, accusing people you know nothing about of never giving to charity and referring to them as "you people" kind of loses you the moral high ground, and in fact shows the sort of prejudice that you are accusing them of.

Fizzypop001 Sat 20-Jul-13 04:11:38

im getting annoyed as its the month of ramaden and some of the posts are sickening next will be getting about post about children not being able to get meat as parents are not allowing them and their being abused as a result. can see op was not doing it in bad intentions but the responses of some were disrespectful and untrue so why post such a thing when op clearly doesnt know whats going on and is hearing it from her kids which that age is not so reliable. sorry op as can see you had no bad intention but others should not have posted those sickening things we would not put our children in hospital and their is no forcing involved anyone of any faith that seen these remarks would clearly get upset as it is not the picture at all. i believe certain things and celebrate just like any other religion and others religions some cant eat meat etc butno need for the rudeness of the posts above. you dont understand it then dont be so negative about it till you clearly understand everything anyway cant stop people using their imagnation to understand things they clearly dont

Fizzypop001 Sat 20-Jul-13 04:19:58

im just upset by the comments and me refering to you people is because some of them seem to be agreeing with the sickening comments. got no issues with anyone but cant stand people who are racist and feel they can comment on something they dont understand..hurts me that people would think we woulddo such things as ramaden is a happy peaceful month that we commit fully to our religion and fasting helps us to feel how the poor people do etc

fuzzywuzzy Sat 20-Jul-13 04:34:05

Right so OP knows of one child who is fasting (as he's in her sons class), the child is in Turkey however, so not sure how OPs son is so sure he's fasting at all to be honest unless OPs son is also in Turkey.

Other than that she 'knows of' year five and six kids who are fasting and is worried about them.....

If A&E were filled with fasting children taken ill be very sure it would be front page news all over the country. But it's not.

My children attend an Islamic school, the only children fasting we're the ones who insisted themselves, the school sent out letters & emails requesting that all children still bring packed lunches to school just in case the child needed to break fast regardless of whether they intended to fast all day or not.

I refused to let dd fast & after much tears & tantrums she has fasted during her holiday, my mums been keeping a very close eye on her but she fasted the full day. NOBODY would dream of forcing anyone to fast, how on earth could you ensure a person doesn't eat or drink? We may be Muslim, but we don't love our children any less than most parents. I wouldn't dream of harming my child or forcing her to starve and dehydrate.

Kirrin Sat 20-Jul-13 04:41:28

I can understand that that there is a lot of negativity about Islam, and the frustration that must cause. It frustrates me and I'm not Muslim. Some of the rubbish you see spouted as fact is unbelievable. However, whilst there are some who are just ignorant bigots who will never open their minds, there are others who simply don't know. So educate them. Nicely. Asking questions is not disrespectful or rude. The op has assumed that the kids are doing the full fast - and if they are fasting during school hours then that is not an unreasonable assumption - she has not assumed that they are being forced/manipulated or anything else. She made no mention of it being cruel nor did she suggest that they shouldn't be doing it. She simply expressed a concern about dehydration. Not an unreasonable concern given the heat.
Some of the responses have been rude and display ignorance, but ranting and raving will not change their perceptions. A nice post explaining how Ramadan for children actually works, from the point of view of one who is actually doing it might. And may also make interesting reading for people who are not rude and ignorant but who simply don't know much about Ramadan as they have never really come across it.
I would also point out that most of the responses on this thread are not critical - in fact only 2 are - so your response seems way out of proportion. Perhaps you are conditioned to assuming people are negative about Islam to the point that you see it when it is not there?

Fizzypop001 Sat 20-Jul-13 04:45:02

thank you fuzzywuzzy my point exactly im a mixer of different cultures my mum was english started off a non muslim and got family members who are not muslims so got no issues with anyone but people agreeing with us abusing when we clearly are not seems abit racist to me and seem to deserve to be put in a group as im a very social person and know lots of people and a minority talk in this way about something they clearly dont understand.

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