Towards Ramadan Muslims in London adjust to the situation of restrictions on movement outside the home that set the British government. One of the activities planned by a mosque is delivering food to homes of families.
The Muslim Council of Britain has issued a warning to Muslims in Britain that Ramadan this year will be different.
The Muslim Council has called for Muslims not to hold taraweeh prayers in congregation and iftar together and replace them by sharing online together.
For breaking the fast menu, the Council also suggested that it is planned well so that Muslims do not need to go out shopping often.
The UK applies quarantine from the last week of March and is scheduled to remain in effect until the first week of May.
Corona infection cases until Thursday (23/04) in the UK reached more than 133,000 with deaths reaching 18,100.
Delivering iftar food
One of the mosques in the Stan-more area, northwest of London, the Hujjat mosque is changing their joint openings by delivering food to more than 150 families in need.
This food comes from donations, and its processing is carried out by restaurants in the local area. While food delivery is carried out by volunteers.
“In my opinion, this difficult situation makes us see the best things emerge from many people,” said Asim, one of the mosque’s administrators.
“200 volunteers have been gathered in these 48 hours, and it feels extraordinary,” he said again.
“Usually we provide breaking menus for 1,500 people in our mosque during the month of Ramadan and many people really rely on eating from there”.
The hope is that they can reach 200 homes each night during Ramadan, with 1,000 people expressing interest.
Like many other mosques, the Hujjat Mosque has held online lectures and classes ahead of Ramadan and will continue to do this throughout the Muslim holy month.
Other annual activities that are commonly carried out in the UK, such as the Ramadan Tent initiated by students, are also diverted into online activities. Food for breaking the fast is also delivered to those in need.
The event, which was initiated by students and started in 2012, is aimed at “raising awareness and knowledge about Islam” and the invitees, including non-Muslims.
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London also changed the habit of opening together and giving lectures during Ramadan.
Usually every Ramadan the Indonesian Embassy holds a joint opening accompanied by lectures and taraweeh prayers in congregation at the Indonesian Embassy office in the Westminster area, in central London.
But this time the Indonesian Embassy in London held a lecture and broke the virtual fast or e-ifthar in cooperation with several religious organizations.
During the month of Ramadan, the Indonesian Embassy plans to hold eight online lectures using video conferencing facilities.
The doctor at the forefront of Covid-19: “Sad, I really want to fast”
For Dr Kiran Rahim, Ramadan this time for him is spending time behind a sultry mask in an intensive care room for Covid-19 patients.
Usually, this pediatrician will bring his children to his mother’s house to break the fast together or meet with friends to break the fast together at a restaurant near where he lives.
Dr Rahim, who served in the Homerton hospital in northeast London, will not fast this Ramadan because of the weight of his work in the intensive care unit.
“Many like me choose not to fast because they work in the intensive care unit (ITU),” said Dr. Rahim who lives with her husband and two children.
“It’s not easy to work with personal protective equipment. We can only work two hours each time before having to take it off to drink.”
He said his colleagues who were members of the British Islamic Medical Association had requested a fatwa from the stating that Muslims who work for such vital and intense needs were allowed not to fast.
“It’s a relief, but at the same time makes me sad because I really want to fast,” he said.
So for medical officers who fast, breaking the fast will be done alone at the break of 12 hours of their shifts, which is very different from the shifts they usually do.
Movement restrictions have been imposed at least until May 7, and Dr. Rahim, 33, said he suspected that Eid al-Fitr this year could not be celebrated as usual.