Contributor: Kante Hamed & Atia Adjani | Editor: Supriyono
For Muslims, Ramadhan is the month of fasting and prayer. From performing Tarawihs to reciting the holy Quran, Muslims worldwide are racing for their best performance in religious worship. Yet, how do you strike a proper balance between studying and worship if you are currently a master’s student completing your thesis project?
"It [Ramadhan] is influencing, but not too much. I rearranged my schedule of writing the thesis to afternoon and night, and sleep in the morning," said Mufti Labib, an Indonesian student at the Faculty of Islamic studies.
Yet, a different narrative was expressed by Issa Hamadou, an international student at the Faculty of Economics and Business. Because of the challenges with time management, coupled with the perception that the days are shorter during Ramadhan, he claimed that it is tough to work during the day given the energy shortage.
“[Thus] my strategy is to stop wasting time and focus on writing or performing Ibaadats [worship], and do a lot of Dua [prayer] to get the easiness of writing,” Hamadou said.
In contrast, an Afghani student, Samiulah Adil, believed that fasting helped him maintain mental stability and had no effect on how he wrote his thesis. “[Yet] I should manage my time for thesis writing because the timing is different in Ramadan than it is in other months," he admitted.
Similarly, Fathi Al Kathiri confessed the same idea, saying that fasting is the most enjoyable time to read. “Ramadhan is actually a good month for me, my time has become more blessed and longer. I have a lot of free time during Ramadhan to read and write [my] thesis,” Fathi said.
While doing the thesis alone is already hard, taking empirical research might be harder, as they have to collect the data on the field whilst fasting. Thus, a different strategy was given by Abdou Barrow, a student at the Faculty of Education from the Gambia.
“Since I know that I will be collecting my data during Ramadhan, I have decided to be stationed at my centers until I completed my data collection. I know commuting to my centers daily would affect my progress, thus I decided to stay. I managed my time and activities effectively,” said Barrow.
Also doing the field work, Dwi Asih Prihatin from the Faculty of Education expressed that Ramadhan made significant changes to her routine. “This Ramadhan is unique because the term competing to read the Qur'an is somewhat replaced by competing to read journals,” she said.
Dwi admitted that the biggest challenge for her was dealing with data collection. “I'm still worried that Ramadhan and Eid holidays will have an impact on my data collection process. So, between research instruments and school holiday schedules, I still continue to chase [them] until now,” Dwi explained.
While the challenges faced by these students could differ from one another, one thing that unites them all is their eagerness to find their own strategies to complete their assignments and/or finish their study on time. Thus, we wish our students the best of luck in completing their thesis.