Ramadan is a time of self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy. It is a time of community and a time of charity. Never have these qualities that we value so deeply been so important.
With our country in lockdown and social distancing in place, we cannot escape the fact that Ramadan will be a very different experience for British Muslims this year.
Mosques will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Gatherings of worshippers, families and communities breaking their fast together cannot take place as they would normally. For many of us this will be the first time that we are unable to attend mosque for prayer and will require significant changes to the way we worship.
Despite these challenges, it is vital that we adapt and observe the rules of social distancing. Instead of coming together physically as a community, we must instead come together in spirit and in action, by observing prayer with those around us in our immediate household.
In these times, we must take this opportunity to increase in our support for our country, our fellow citizens, of all faiths and those of none, locally and internationally. We must pray for all those who have suffered because of coronavirus, and through our actions honour them.
Ramadan is a moment to give more in charity. Already we have seen great efforts in the community to raise money for those less fortunate in this difficult time. We must use this opportunity to support our healthcare workers, many of whom are risking their lives to keep us safe. Let us also care for those that are vulnerable and need our support, now more than ever.
Recently, representatives from the community came together to sign the ‘One United Leicestershire’ pledge; a declaration of unity and a commitment to collective responsibility. Let us honour this promise during Ramadan by practicing our faith, safely and responsibly.
Please stay home, protect our amazing health care workers, and do our bit to save lives. Ramadan Mubarak