Zulf’s Ramadan Experience | Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.

Among them is first-team defender Romain Saiss, who has previously shared his thoughts and experiences with www.wolves.co.uk

Wolves Foundation Chief Financial Officer Zulf Khan also observes Ramadan and told us how he manages to combine prayer and fasting with continuing his work, and the support he receives from the club to do so.

On his role at Wolves

I have worked as an accountant for the club and the Foundation for the past eight years which has included supporting a number of key club departments and managers. I love what I do as no two days are the same as the club continues to grow with new challenges all the time. It can be very demanding and stressful at times, but I love the work I do and think it makes a real difference.

On life during Ramadan

Ramadan is a very rewarding month for all Muslims and, as a family, the most important time of the year.

My Ramadan day will start around 4am for our morning meal called Sehri. This is when we prepare a meal before closing our fast for the day, which will be at 5am this year. Right after that, we offer our first prayer of the day – Fajr – before sunrise.

Usually, due to time constraints, we follow our normal routine of getting our kids ready for school and completing the school run. I then begin my journey to work and arrive at the office just after 9:30. During my midday lunch break, I usually offer my second prayer of the day – Zuhr – at my local mosque in Wolverhampton. It’s more fulfilling from a religious point of view and it also allows me a well-deserved break from the office.

In the afternoon, around 5:30 p.m., I offer my third prayer of the day called Asr at work before ending my day around 6:30 p.m. This can usually be the hardest time as at this point I can feel quite tired, hungry and have low energy levels.

I arrive home almost every day after 7 p.m. and as a family we prepare for the main meal of the day when we open our fast, which is called Iftari. The fast will be opened around 7:50 p.m. this year, which corresponds to meal dates, in accordance with religious teachings. Immediately after the start of the fast, we offer our fourth prayer of the day called Magrib, and then we enjoy our main meal of the day.

I then attend the last prayer of the day – Isha – at the mosque which ends around 10:45 p.m. Ramadan lasts about 30 days and ends with the official celebration – Eid al Fitr. Abstaining from all food and drink during the day is a challenge with the reduced rest time available throughout the week.

During the end of Ramadan celebrations

The day after Ramadan is the start of the new Islamic month after the sighting of the local moon confirmed by our local mosque, is declared as the celebration of Eid al Fitr. It is then often a quick turnaround to prepare all the necessary food and preparations for the main day of Eid.

On Eid day, we go to the mosque for a special Eid prayer around 8 am and wish community and family members ‘Eid Mubarak’. From there we return home to our families to continue the celebrations. Traditionally, on this day, the whole family is invited to dinner and we exchange gifts with each other, enjoying all the simple things in life that we missed during the fast.

The celebration of Eid Ul Fitr lasts at least three full days after Ramadan and is a well-deserved reward after the month of fasting.

On the personal importance of Ramadan

Ramadan is for me the most special month of the whole year. From a religious perspective it fulfills one of the five key pillars of Islam, but personally it is so much more than that as it is a time to refresh my faith and become a better practicing Muslim.

It allows me to reset myself and reflect on how I go about my daily life and really appreciate all that we have, compared to the less fortunate people in the world who are in need. I believe it helps build a healthier, happier life, by reducing or eliminating impurities from body and mind.

Ramadan allows me to allocate more time with my family. We open the Family Fast at a set time each day at sunset, so it not only provides key family time, but also helps bring family closer together and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that fasting brings.

Ramadan is usually a time to increase your good deeds because religiously it is more rewarding. It can be as simple as helping someone at work, listening to someone’s problems, or donating money to a good local or global charity, but every little difference matters. and has an impact.

Through these good deeds combined with a more balanced approach, Ramadan helps you lead a better life until the time for reflection, for fasting, returns.

On the support received from wolves during Ramadan

I feel very lucky to be part of such a great team and a supportive club that does so much more, dare I say it, than professional football! Throughout the year and especially during Ramadan, my co-workers take a keen interest in what I do and how I manage my fasting day while continuing with my daily office duties and prayers.

The Wolves Foundation and the club have always supported me by giving me time during my working day to perform my daily prayers. Since the end of the Covid restrictions and our return to the office, I am extremely happy that the club has gone even further in the last 12 months and has now invested in a prayer room at the Compton training ground so that all staff, players or visitors can use it, in order to have the same facilities at Molineux.

These actions are far greater than any words I could write, which truly show the sincere effort and support Wolves provide to make this great club an even better place for every individual, regardless of race, color or religion.

If there is now more tolerance and interest from others for Ramadan

I really feel there is a lot more tolerance towards my faith and towards Muslims in general, which has improved as interest in the holy month of Ramadan has increased over the years.

Especially with the likes of the internet and social media, there is a lot more information available about my faith which I believe supports many of the questions raised by non-Muslims. This access to information not only helps to better understand what we do and why we do things, but, as an indirect result, reduces misconceptions and anxiety surrounding our practices and beliefs.

I’ve been observing Ramadan since I was 16, about 23 now, and I can honestly say the interactions with non-Muslims are so much more positive. I feel like they are much more understanding with a genuine interest, appreciation and respect for my faith and culture.

I truly believe that by developing a better understanding of all of our different cultures and religions that exist around each other, we truly allow ourselves to develop the knowledge necessary to support true diversity and the required integration within our communities.

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