Prominent British Muslims including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Hollywood actor Riz Khan and many other celebrities of the British Muslim community, are encouraging Muslims to stay and ‘pray at home’ during the holy month of Ramadan.
A video running on social media shows celebrities convincing people to continue to practice safety measures during the month of Ramadan. The video gives the message of practising social distancing and self-isolation at home.
Ramadan, a ninth month in the Islamic calendar is marked by festivities, fasting from dawn to dusk, and increased acts of devotion to Allah.
To enjoy the blessings of Ramadan, Muslims around the world arrange social gatherings calling friends and family together to share food and break the fast at sunset.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) April 23, 2020
Moreover, a large number of Muslim worshippers attend special Taraweeh prayers in UK mosques in Ramadan. Hence, these religious practices call for increased socializing between people. But it is feared that these social gatherings might exacerbate the spread of coronavirus in the community.
This Ramadan I’m staying at home
A sixty-second video featuring stars of music, TV, entertainment, and politics including Konnie Huq, Naughty Boy, Asad Ahmad pleads the Muslim community to ‘pray from home’.
The film opens with the message: “This Ramadan I’m staying at home, to protect our doctors, nurses, to protect our NHS, to protect our superheroes.”
I’m praying for the world but from home.
“This Ramadan, I’m praying for the world but from home. You can be a lifesaver, protect our frontline, protect our NHS, protect our doctors, nurses, and save lives. And you can do all of that by just staying at home and save lives.”
The video also features several frontline workers of NHS, London Met Police, and London Ambulance Service.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan continued: “This Ramadan, I’m doing iftar at home to protect our NHS and save lives.”
The video ends with the celebrities and medical staff wishing others ‘Ramadan Mubarak’.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warns he will ban people from pubs.
You better apply the same to all places of worship Khan. Everyone can pray at home or anywhere for that matter.
— Karen #PauseThePanic (@BXPDiary) March 20, 2020
The Muslim countries, like Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Turkey and others have already suspended the congregational and daily prayers in mosques since the outbreak of coronavirus. They have advised people to pray from home.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has admitted that this Ramadan is going to be weird because Muslims are forced to adapt to crucial circumstances under the pandemic coronavirus.
In his latest video message, he said that like him many Muslims will miss going to mosques and breaking fast together with friends and family.
However, as per the teaching of Islam on love and compassion, believers should find new opportunities to protect themselves, and others also help the less fortunate ones.
British Muslims celebrate Digital Ramadan
Meanwhile, British Muslims are told to celebrate Ramadan digitally. The Muslim Council of Britain published the guidelines on how Muslims can make the best use of technology to suffice the spiritual vacuum created by the suspension of prayers at mosques.
To everyone observing Ramadan: I wish you a blessed month.
I want to give a special thanks to all those who will be observing Ramadan while working on the front line in the battle against COVID19.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 23, 2020
The group acknowledged that Ramadan ‘will be a very different experience for Muslims this year. It urged followers to ‘adapt to the changing circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic’, advising them to arrange virtual Iftars.
The guidelines also instruct Muslims to not to stock food items at home to make sure that everyone gets what they need.
Mosques in the UK are also adapting to the circumstances and turning to social media apps to engage with the worshippers by live streaming motivational lectures, prayers, and courses.