a lovely post from Paul at the No Accommodation Network, which we’ve only slightly edited
Ramadan marks the month when the Quran is said to have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad by God and is marked by a month-long fast.
Muslims are required to spend a period of 30 days abstaining from food and drink, including water, during daylight hours, as a means of celebrating and reflecting on their faith.
This year, Ramadan will begin on the evening of Thursday 23 April 2020, and will end on the evening of Saturday 23 May. The exact start time will vary locally and will depend on the sighting of the moon.
Ramadan and Covid-19
Ramadan 2020 will be a very different experience for Muslims all over the world during the COVID-19 lockdown and will be particularly challenging for those living alone or self-isolating in temporary accommodation.
The Muslim Council of Britain has produced a comprehensive guide to Ramadan at https://mcb.org.uk/resources/ramadan/ together with a specific guide to Ramadan during the Covid-19 crisis which can be downloaded from https://mcb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/MCB-Ramadan-2020-Guidance.pdf .
If you are accommodating or supporting other people from a Muslim background please think carefully about how you can particularly support them over the next 30 days of fasting; breaking the fast on a daily basis – Iftar – and then during Eid al-Fitr celebration at the end of Ramadan which is expected to begin the evening of Saturday 23rd May and end on Sunday 24th May (subject to confirmation locally).
There has been a call for adult Muslims who are living away from family and friends or self-isolating to join a “virtual Iftar” through https://www.openiftar.co.uk/my and for Muslims to use Facebook, WhatsApp and Zoom to enjoy communal prayers.
Other things to think about when supporting someone through Ramadan?
- Please be aware that during Ramadan Muslims might rest or sleep during the day so contact by phone or WhatsApp might be more difficult.
- If you are delivering food and especially hot food. Think carefully about what you are providing and when you are providing it? Make sure that it is wholesome and filling, high in protein and carbs.
- You might see if it is possible to deliver food in the evening rather than the morning?
- Each Muslim community will have their own traditions regarding Iftar which is the daily breaking of the fast. Many will break the fast with dates and fresh fruit but not all. Consider buying a box of dates (the nice ones from Asian shops) as a gift and delivering these. But also check online to see what the particular traditions are of those you accommodate/support and try and respond accordingly?
- You might consider contacting your local Mosque to see what support they can provide and whether they are live streaming prayers or Virtual Iftars?
- If those you support don’t have a prayer mat or a koran then contact your local Mosque for help.
- You might also consider providing a data top up or provide a gift of a new sim card with a data bundle from a provider such as giffgaff which will allow people to connect with the wider Muslim community and friends and family around the world. https://www.giffgaff.com