City leaders have joined together to wish Bristol’s Muslim community ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ and offer words of support for those observing the holy month under difficult circumstances.
Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for the Muslim community when the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, will take place between April 24/25 and May 24/25, depending on moon sightings.
The city’s mosques are usually busy with events and congregational acts of worship during this time but this year the challenge of coronavirus will change the way celebrations take place.
There will be no congregational acts of worship outside the home or at mosques this year due to the ongoing crisis. This includes taraweeh prayers in the mosque or elsewhere.
For those living away from family and friends, a short film has been produced by the Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group, Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Constabulary recognising the challenges of observing Ramadan during the coronavirus pandemic
Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol is a multicultural city; made up of over 45 religions, 92 languages and people from over 180 different countries across the world.
“We recognise that the coronavirus brings a huge challenge to our Muslim communities observing Ramadan this year.
“It is especially hard for those living alone, unable to see their families or friends for iftar.
‘We are here for you’
“If you are observing Ramadan, we want you to know that we are here for you. If you need support, please call the We Are Bristol freephone helpline on 0800 694 0184.”
Dr Adeela Shafi from the Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group said: “We know Ramadan this year will be a real adjustment for many.
“Restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic mean that, as responsible citizens, we will be adapting our usual practices.
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“Alongside Bristol’s mosques and other community organisations, we encourage families to organise taraweeh at home as a family, stream Islamic lectures, arrange virtual iftars with loved ones and community members.
“We suggest that we plan our iftar meals in advance to limit shopping trips, and of course stay well hydrated in this warm weather.
“The communal spirit of Ramadan is within us all as we contribute to playing our part during these challenging times.”