Ramadan Kareem friends! This Ramadan, like most of this year, is going to be a unique one that none of us have ever experienced before. To keep our friends and family safe, we may have to keep our distance, and with Ramadan being a celebration of love, kindness, generosity, and spending quality time with loved ones this may be difficult to do.
Actor, rapper, songwriter, and all-around rockstar Riz Ahmed has called upon his fellow British Muslims to encourage other Muslims to stay home for Ramadan this year. Ahmed launched a video that features himself along with influential British Muslims like Konnie Huq, Naughty Boy, Asad Amad, Humza Arshad, and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, all asking viewers to celebrate the month at home. The video also features some frontline workers from the NHS, Met Police, and the London Ambulance Service.
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This #Ramadan we are staying at home. Opening our fast at home. Doing #iftar at home. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged self-isolation during plague: "If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; but if the plague outbreaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place." #StayHomeSaveLives #RamadanAtHome
Ramadan is often filled with mosques filled at prayer times at night, and families meeting for iftar at sunset to breakfast together. In some cities, groups will head out early morning to have a suhoor meal together, and in some Muslim countries, people even throw suhoor parties! There are some who spend the month of Ramadan living in the mosque itself to focus on their faith. So many Ramadan traditions involve the meeting of family and friends, which is why it will be difficult to celebrate Ramadan, as well as Eid at the end of the month, without being able to spend time with loved ones.
Ahmed and his peers are encouraging viewers to abstain from such celebrations to not only protect their friends and family but to protect those superheroes working tirelessly to protect us all like doctors and nurses. Distance is the safest and best way we can show our loved ones how much they mean to us. If the coronavirus has taught us anything at all, it is that it is not about just me or you, but us. As a society, we need to be more cautious of how our actions affect those around us, having compassion and empathy for others is how we build a greater society.
Be kind, be generous, and be cautious this Ramadan to protect all others. We hope you and your family stay safe and healthy this Ramadan!