As Muslims across the world prepare for the Holy month of Ramadan, Mariam Manawer, founder of award winning Islamic gift and lifestyle brand, Ibadah London, shares her unique insight as to what she has discovered throughout the build up to Ramadan amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
The month of Ramadan is due to begin on April 23rd/24th 2020. It is an entire month dedicated to fasting, praying and spiritual reflection. With Ramadan being such a sacred month for millions of Muslims across the world, the current situation of lockdown means this will be Ramadan like no other. The pandemic automatically prohibits many traditional cultural practices including attending the mosque for congregational prayers, visiting family members to open the fast together and hugging friends on Eid. However, we have found that many people are not allowing the physical constraints to dampen the Ramadan spirit.
Whilst Ramadan is normally our busiest time of year, what is special about 2020 is the amount of love and thought that is going into each purchase. People are taking the time to appreciate their loved ones and reach out to them.
'Ibadah' is an Arabic word meaning worship. Our product range consists of modern, minimalist and professional looking gifts that are derived with Islamic values at their core, in innovative ways and presented beautifully. We sell a wide range of unique products, inspired by our faith, from candles and frames with verses from the Holy Quran, to silk coated prayer gift sets and 100% handmade prayer mats. After all, it was the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, who said: "Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another."
Like many small businesses, we too have been affected by the pandemic. We now only stock a limited amount of products on our website, www.ibadahlondon.com, and it is actually working out quite well for us. We have introduced a range of letterbox friendly gifts which we can now send directly to your friends and family. The country wide isolation means that for a lot of adults, this will be the first time where they don't have to go to work, and are therefore able to focus on their spirituality and self development during this holy month.
Some of our best sellers include a Ramadan Planner, which is essentially a journal that takes you through reflective exercises, that can help you set, plan and track progress towards your religious goals.
Another best seller at the moment, is our Ramadan Mubarak chocolate gift card. 'Ramadan Mubarak' translates to Happy Ramadan. Designed by us, it has inscriptions from the Holy Quran about the significance and importance of fasting during Ramadan, along with 22 pieces of Belgian chocolate.
It is extremely difficult for everyone being away from friends and family, more so in this holy month, when families would sit down together at sunset and open their fast with a delicious meal. So it's nice to be able to send them a sweet token to let them know we are thinking about them. With close knitted family members unable to visit each other, we have found the personalisation aspect of our products to be at an increase in demand. Especially, our Holy Quran gift sets, which includes a Quran with matching prayer rug and rosary beads in a personalised gift box. It's a perfect gift set for prayers and spiritual reflection during this holy month.Ramadan is also about giving, giving back to society, the less fortunate and the needy. That is why we are using our social media presence to raise money for a local Muslim cemetery who are currently understaffed and overwhelmed due to the number of deaths from Coronavirus.
May we all have a blessed Ramadan, Ramadan Mubarak.