The Muslim Council of Britain provide advice for spending Ramadan in lockdown

Published by Alice Jaspars on April 22nd 2020, 11:11am

The largest umbrella organisation for Muslims in the UK, The Muslim Council of Britain, has published an online guide to help millions observe Ramadan amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Ramadan, which begins tomorrow, will be "a very different experience for Muslims as we adapt to changing circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic” according to the organisation.

Due to the country’s current state of lockdown, no congregational acts of worship outside the home are allowed, and there will be no Taraweeh prayers at the mosque. Iftars, the ritual meal which marks the breaking of the fast after sundown, will also not be able to take place at scale due to social distancing rules. The MCB is encouraging the use of virtual iftars, engaging with members of the community, and loved ones through the use of video chats.

The organisation have also advised that iftar menus are planned in advance, in the hope of avoiding multiple shopping trips in line with government advice. They have also suggested that the suhoor, the second meal of the day which takes place just before dawn, consists of high-energy, slow-burning foods, to allow people to maintain their energy throughout the day.

The MCB have said that Muslims ought to "honour your workplace duties with patience and good grace to those around you". However, they note that employers who refuse to allow for flexible working hours to accommodate fasting employees without legitimate business reasons, may constitute unlawful discrimination.

Dr Emman El-Badawy, an Islamic jurisprudence expert, believes that the spirit of Ramadan will be maintained in spite of these unusual circumstances.

She says: "So much of the essence of Ramadan can be maintained during isolation.

"The spiritual aspects may even be heightened for some of us, with less distractions than usual.

"The communal practices will be missed under the restrictions, for sure, but there are already great initiatives being built to help with this."

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Authored By

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
April 22nd 2020, 11:11am

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