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Teachers: Citizenship: Religious Diversity

Last Updated: Friday September 22 2006 11:52 GMT

Ramadan - living in a diverse world

Living in a diverse world



Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and a time when Muslims across the world will fast during the hours of daylight.

The month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends.

At the end of the month, once fasting has been completed, a big celebration takes place known as Eid.

Learning aims
  • Understand some traditions of Ramadan.

    Click below for a quick guide :

    Firework celebrations

    Read the Festival of Eid story and/or show one man's take on Ramadan by clicking the STORY or VIDEO links in the boxes at the top right corner.

    Discuss that Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days. During this time, Muslim adults - as well as some children - give up food during daylight hours, a gesture called fasting. Muslims believe that their good actions bring a greater reward during Ramadan than at any other time of year because the month has been praised by god Allah. They also believe that is is easier to do good in this month. Muslims also try and give up bad habits.

    Main activity

    Explain that the class will be making a Ramadan 'advent calendar' chain which will count down to the end of Ramadan. Each link will have a child's writing on it which will explain good things they will try to do in the coming month, plus any bad habits they will try and give up.

    Have a talking session where children discuss their positive actions and negative habits. Share ideas and add summary words to the board to support children's work. Next, each child prepares their sentences and, when ready, writes them onto the links.

    Extension activities

    Decorate the reverse of the link with the Islamic star and crescent symbol.

    Children could use varying shades of green which is a special colour in Islam.


    In Iraq the family will enjoy a breakfast of buffalo cream with honey and bread.
    In Palestine a special sweetmeat, k'ak al-tamar, is made to serve with coffee.
    One of the special dishes in India, Pakistan and Fiji is savayya, a dish of fine, toasted vermicelli noodles.

    Share some of the good things children are doing. Explain that some Muslims will try to become better by praying more or reading the Qur'an, Islam's holy book. Display a Qur'an or select a daily Ramadan prayer - click PRAYERS in the green box, top right.

    Finally, explain that one link of the chain will be removed/added each day to represent one day nearer to the end of Ramadan.

    Teachers' background
      Food for Eid
      Selling food to celebrate Eid
    • Islam is the religion with the second largest following in the world.

    • There are over 1 billion Muslims worldwide with around 2 million or more in the UK.

    • Islam originated 1400 years ago in Arabia and was founded on the ministry of a man named Muhammad.

    • The word 'Islam' in Arabic actually means to surrender oneself to God.

    • The Muslim Holy Scriptures are called the Qur'an.

    • Services are held every day at the Mosque. On Friday at noon, the most important of the weekly services is held. When Muslims pray, they must always face Mecca.

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