Ramadan Greetings 2013/1434 AH

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At the beginning of Ramadan the Christian Muslim Forum sends greetings to the Muslim communities of England, the UK and beyond. We pray that this will be a time of peace and blessing for all who are fasting, praying and spending time in I’tikaf (seclusion in the mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan). We pray also that for those who live and work alongside Muslims it will be a time of blessing too as they witness the impact of Ramadan observance.

We look forward to increasing acceptance of the place of Ramadan in British society. This is currently being highlighted by Channel 4 with yesterday’s programme ‘A Very British Ramadan’. The theme will be continued throughout the month with the broadcast of a daily Ramadan diary (I will be featuring in one of the programmes). This may be the year in which Ramadan becomes mainstream.

Inevitably, there has already been some controversy about Ramadan coverage and anxiety about the call to prayer being broadcast in the early mornings. This anxiety comes from misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. Thankfully, Ramadan itself is a time for breaking down of barriers and shattering of myths about Muslims. During the month many millions will be donated to charities and Muslims will be sharing food and gifts with non-Muslim friends and neighbours of all faiths and none. We hope to be sharing soon news of the ‘Big Iftar’ campaign which will invite non-Muslims to share in iftar (the light meal which breaks the fast) during Ramadan.

Much comment is made on the difficulties of Ramadan in northern latitudes where the days are long, especially when Ramadan falls in the summer (it moves each year due to the shorter Islamic lunar calendar), at such times Muslims remind themselves of the Qur’anic phrase, ‘After hardship comes ease’ (Surah 94, verse 5). 

Ramadan Mubarak! (Blessed Ramadan)

Julian Bond
Director, Christian Muslim Forum

Links:

Islamic Relief Ramadan campaign 

Channel 4 Ramadan season 

Channel 4 to 'provoke' viewers who associate Islam with terrorism with live call to prayer during Ramadan

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