Muslims around the world have now been fasting for around three weeks and experiencing the peace, reflection and spirituality that Ramadan can offer.
The Holy Month presents a wonderful opportunity to consider not only our own lives, but the wellbeing of those around us. It’s a time for community, for family, and unity with those in the wider world.
Charity is a cornerstone of Ramadan where Muslims give more than at any other time of the year. In fact, British Muslims donate more money to good causes during Ramadan than any other group of people, making us the most generous givers in the country! Some of this money goes to local charities, some goes to helping those in desperate need abroad, such as in Syria.
Coincidentally, this week is Refugee Week UK. Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.
The core principles of Refugee Week and Ramadan share some similarities, such as looking after those who need our support. Ramadan reminds us to look out for our loved ones, our neighbours, and people in our community.
We’ve all heard about – and been affected by – the horrific terror attacks in Britain over the last few months, in London and Manchester. We need to comfort and support each other during these tough times, but also learn how to spot the signs of radicalisation in our community and be ready to take action where necessary. We all want to live in safe and happy communities and prevent people becoming drawn into extremist ideologies which might result in them harming themselves or others around them.
The website Families Matter has some advice about how to spot the signs of radicalisation and what to do if you’re concerned about someone.
Last week, ODARA took part in an interfaith iftar at St Peter’s Church in Birmingham to commemorate the plight of refugees alongside several other organisations and charities. It was a fantastic opportunity for faiths to come together during Ramadan and Refugee Week and reiterate our common values.
Several organisations, local businesses and charities came together to break fast with the local Muslim community. The event was well attended with people of multiple faiths preparing food together, taking part in ice breaker activities and listening to speakers talking about their experiences working with refugees and one speaker sharing her story of being a refugee. ODARA has personally helped refugee families including that of Hatam whose family fled Iraq and are now seeking refuge in the UK.
We wish you all a blessed Ramadan and hope the last days of the Holy Month are filled with joy and happiness. Get out there and look out for one another!
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