Ramadan In The UK
Despite Covid restrictions, Mosques around the UK are prepared for Ramadan 2021. Much like last year, the holy month will be drastically different to what Muslims are used to.
However, given that the UK’s official religion is Protestant Christianity, what is Ramadan actually like for Muslims up and down this Christian state?
At face value, the month of Ramadan in the UK appears to be no different when compared to any other regular month in the Christian calendar. Now this may be challenging for some as businesses, schools and shops, for instance, run according to usual opening hours and procedures.
The Spring and Summer months are particularly tough as fasts can last up to 19, or even 20 hours! Despite this, you are still expected and required to go to work or study like normal.
Additionally, as a Muslim in the UK, you will ALWAYS be surrounded by those who do not practice Islam. In other words, whether you are at work, school, the shops, or even the gym, many individuals around you will be eating, drinking, as well as committing other prohibited actions. But for British Muslims, this is completely normal, and quite frankly, non-intrusive. We just, well, get on with it!
Now, what we have just discussed is simply a birds-eye view of what Ramadan is like in the UK. But when you zone into individual Muslim communities and households, the holy month is not really all that different. We still have our early morning meals, and break our fasts after sunset. We still share food and pray Taraweeh together. We still give to charity, read Quran as well as try to engage with our spirituality. And when Eid-al-Fitr does come along, Muslims will take a day off from work, school, and their responsibilities in order to joyfully celebrate with friends and family.
Indeed, priority will always be given to the Easter and Christmas holidays, but the UK has accepted that Muslims are, and always will be, a part of British society. This can be conveyed by leaders and figures wishing Muslims a peaceful Ramadan, or even by the fact that supermarkets stock up on dates, oils, rice and other popular foods. So, even though Ramadan and Eid are not official holidays, we are still able to experience a traditional, blessed and peaceful month.
Would you like to experience Ramadan in the UK? Let us know your thoughts!