Our presenter Mufti Yusuf Akudi, 47, has spent a decade working as a fundraising TV presenter for Save an Orphan. He recently sat down and spoke to My London about his Ramadan routine. He reveals how he juggles his time having a day job, a night job, all while praying and being a mufti for the community.
Taken from My London:
Ramadan is a month where anything feels possible, for Muslims like myself it's a month where you try to push yourself further than you thought you could. Abstaining from food and drink is one thing, but the month is also about giving as much to charity as you can, refraining from bad deeds, praying and being a better, kinder person in general - the month is about creating lasting good habits.
For some, this month is busier than normal and a time where sleep is sacrificed - this could be just because of waking up earlier to have your Suhoor (breakfast before fast) which can disrupt your sleeping pattern. For others, it's because of the extra evening prayers - Taraweeh - which might mean you stay up later and still wake up earlier for Suhoor.
But for one man, sleep is scarce because of his daytime job as well as his overnight work during the Holy month as a fundraising presenter. Mufti Yusuf Akudi, 47, who works for a number of charities throughout Ramdan has spent a decade working as a fundraising TV presenter during the night.
Currently, he is working seven days straight for Save An Orphan alongside his 9-5 for British Muslim TV - an Islamic focused TV channel with a huge majority of London viewers.
Speaking to Mufti Akudi, who is from Dewsbury but works as a consultant and often travels to London for work, gave us an insight into what the month looks like for him. He said: "My routine is hectic during Ramadan, I have a 9-5 day job from Monday to Friday as a consultant as well and I'm also an Imam and a Mufti. I do a lot of communal work, advice work and being Mufti comes with lots of responsibilities.
"In Ramadan, we have Taraweeh prayers and I also use the month to listen, read and memorise the Quran. I try and go over Quran memorisation as much as possible when I am not working or when I have time to myself.
"So Monday to Friday I'll work and present and then on the weekend I do a lot of community stuff, for example, talks, reminders, evening teaching people in the evenings about Islam.
"During the week in the evenings I'm a presenter on British Muslim TV, I do live Q&A's from 5-6 pm and then I have a power nap between 6-6.30 pm before Iftar (opening my fast) - then I present from 7 pm onwards into the morning.
"It's difficult but I look forward to it every year as the charity aspect is uplifting and rewarding - fasting is not just about abstaining from water and food, it's about empathy, compassion, sympathy and love."
With an extremely busy schedule, Mufti Akudi has kept his Iftar routine simple. At the studio he says he will open his fast with water, dates and fruit, keeping it very light.
"If you ask the presenters they laugh and call me a vegan as I bring celery and hummus and just have fruits," he said. "I won't have anything massive like tandoori chicken, samosas or traditional Asian and Arab Iftaris where you have meat and chicken.
"My main meal is Suhoor. I'll have boiled eggs for protein and sometimes honey and pure natural butter with a bit of bread or some double cream. I also have black tea or black coffee without milk and sugar, and a litre of water in between Iftar and Suhoor."
To open their fast, presenters are on rotation for the channel, giving everyone a chance to eat - however, as they're still in the studio it can be difficult to find time to rest. Mufti Akudi uses his spare time to step away from the energetic studio and catch up on his prayers as well as Quran.
He says: "I usually go into the prayer room and crack on with Isha Salah and the Quran. Ramadan is the time for reflection so I try to spend as much time as I can - if I feel tired I might have a power nap at 11-12 am until it's my turn to present."
When asked about the level of energy required as a presenter while juggling a lack of sleep and a full day of work as well as fasting, he said: "When we hear and see peoples' stories and hear people calling in and sharing live testimonials or messages passed through from call centre, and you see the amount raised or donations were given by a child calling in it boosts you!
"It gives you that pleasure, it's not for yourself it's for Yemen, Syria or an orphan or widow so why wouldn't it give you that adrenaline? That boost when someone has shared some good news. For example last night someone anonymous from London gave £3,600 to build a well and that's a huge amount of money which will help support a community of a thousand people."
British Muslim TV runs its Live Appeal until 5 am every night, the channel's Editor-in-Chief Joseph Hayat who studied at the University of Westminster and whose family reside in London said: "During Ramadan, we broadcast in excess of 400 hours of presenter-led LIVE programming over the 30 days. It's a privilege to have the trust of our viewership but also to lead a team that takes its obligations in serving the viewers so seriously, during such blessed Holy month."
Find out about Mufti Akudis mind-blowing Ramadan routine below: https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/ramadan-2022-i-fast-day-23602362