Today, Muslim communities in the UK and across the world welcome Ramadan.
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It is a time of self-discipline requiring worship, reflection and self-sacrifice through charity, fasting and prayer. It is also a time of profound compassion and an opportunity to share in the suffering of others.
This year, Ramadan comes at a time when we are all being called to act selflessly
This year, Ramadan comes at a time when we are all being called to act selflessly. Each of us must act responsibly and think of others as we all work to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The impact of the virus is being felt in every community and will no doubt have an impact on our traditions and customs over Ramadan. This year some iftars (breaking the fast) will be held over video calls, and as widespread social-distancing measures have gone into effect, gatherings in mosques and homes won't take place.
It's been so encouraging to witness deliberate acts of courage and kindness across the country
However, amid the chaos and uncertainty, it's been so encouraging to witness deliberate acts of courage and kindness across the country. From the people working in the frontline, many of whom are Muslim, to those delivering food to the most vulnerable and those donating to foodbanks. Let us all do what we can to help others at this time because we are all in this together.
Though we can't gather in the usual ways this Ramadan, let us remember why we're staying apart.
Sending warm wishes to everyone and I look forward to the time when we will be together again.
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