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British Muslims Usher in the Holy Month of Ramadan

Published: 20/07/2012 03:16:02 PM GMT
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The Muslim Council (MCB) would like to extend its warmest wishes to all for a blessed and spiritual Ramadan. From tomorrow*, many British Muslims will welcome in the holy month of Ramadan. For the next 30 days, they will be joined by Muslims from all over the world, who will not eat or drink from dawn to dusk. Ramadan also coincides with the London 2012 Olympics, and many Muslims will be extending the virtues of good works and compassion to the celebrations.

Spiritual roots

Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed, and many Muslims focus their time to develop the qualities of ‘God-consciousness', compassion and discipline. Mosques around the country will be full of worshippers, particularly during (extra) night prayers.

Remembering the poor

As many Muslims abstain from food and drink for long hours, they remember those who cannot afford to feed themselves. British Muslim charities affiliated to the Muslim Council will attempt to raise record amounts for the poor and needy around the world.

Compassion

Ramadan is a wonderful time to become active in reaching out through acts of charity and service. It is through selfless acts of devotion and giving in charity that one attains closeness to God.

Many mosques will be opening their doors to the public and inviting in neighbours, regardless of faith, to join them in evening meals to break the fast.

In this regard, the Muslim Council is facilitating ‘Iftar with a star' events across London where affiliated mosques and community centres will hold iftar events inviting many athletes to come and join. Youth will be invited for these events to inspire and encourage them to get active and get more involved.

It is also delighted to support the ‘Citizen's Iftar' and the Ramadan Festival, which are fantastic initiatives to bring people of all faiths and communities together in the spirit of giving.
"Sharing and inviting is truly the best way to counter ignorance and hatred, fear and misrepresentation," said Farooq Murad, secretary general of the Muslim Council. "And as Ramadan is about neighbourliness, we must use this holy month to remember those most at need here in the UK."

Staying Healthy

As Ramadan now falls in summer months, those fasting will have to do so for 18 hours. This year, the Muslim Council has also set out many practical guidelines on health and well-being during Ramadan. It is important that whilst Muslims observe the fast, health is not ignored. The Council has issued a ‘Ramadan Health Fact Sheet' that has been circulated to chaplains across hospitals in the UK, as well as a guidance document on ‘What to consider when processing, preparing and serving food in the holy month of Ramadan' to all MCB affiliates as well as mosques in the UK. The MCB will also be publishing a document highlighting the health risks and important information for diabetic people wishing to fast this Ramadan. Please visit www.mcb.org.uk for more information.

To find out more about Ramadan and events taking place in your area, please visit www.mcb.org.uk/ramadan

Notes to Editors

1. *This year Ramadan is expected to either start on the 20th or 21st July. The start of Ramadan depends on the sighting of the moon. Different Muslim communities will start the month depending on their interpretation of moon sighting.
2. ‘Iftar' is the time when Muslims break their fast at the time of sunset




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