Observing Ramadan safely during the Coronavirus pandemic

Muslims in Leeds getting ready to observe the holy month of Ramadan this week have been issued advice to keep them safe from a local imam and GP.

The advice comes from NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Leeds City Council’s public health team working closely with Dr Mohammed Sattar from Woodhouse Medical Practice and Qari Asim from Makkah Mosque in Leeds.

Dr Sattar said: “The single most important thing we can do to tackle Coronavirus is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

“When we limit contact with other people, we limit the spread of the infection so everyone must follow Government advice to stay at home and practice social distancing. That means only leaving the house for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home). You also should not meet up with others who don’t live with you, even family and friends, as people can spread the virus even if they don’t have symptoms. All this means that Ramadan will be very different this year.”

Imam Asim explained: “Ramadan is a really special time of the year for Muslims. It is a time of intensive worship, reading the Holy Quran, giving to charity, developing self-restraint and doing good deeds. During Ramadan, Muslims pray together and break fast with family and friends each day.

“With mosques being closed this year and the restrictions on gatherings of more than two people being in place, this will impact on the way people observe Ramadan and their daily rituals.  We encourage people to consider new ways of experiencing Ramadan such as using some of the free video conferencing tools to stay connected and hold virtual iftars.

“This Ramadan Muslims will pray for their loved ones, people who are unwell and people who have died, and will support everyone in local communities in dealing with this pandemic, whilst following the social distancing measures.”

Dr Sattar continued: “We would also like to encourage people with diabetes to fast safely during Ramadan. At this time of year, fasting between sunrise to sunset means that people will not eat or drink for up to 17 hours. This could pose a risk to the health of those who have diabetes and other long-term health conditions.

“Most people with diabetes can fast without any issue as long as they ensure they follow a few key pieces of advice. You can find out more in a short video on the CCG’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HtZYL6t6BM&feature=youtu.be

“If you have symptoms of Covid-19, it is advisable not to fast. You may also want to seek advice from a religious scholar or local Imam”

You can get more advice on #RamadanAtHome at  https://mcb.org.uk/resources/ramadan/

We would like to wish Ramadan Mubarak to all who are observing this holy month.