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‘Nothing beats my dad’s signature Sri Lankan Ramadan soup and the smell of my mum’s freshly-made sweets to end the day, right before prayers’
The month of Ramadan has started – but for the second year in a row, it will be a markedly different experience for many of us around the world.
Despite the relaxing of some restrictions in the UK, Muslims like myself still won’t be able to get together for “iftar” (breaking of the fast) or congregate for “tarawih” night prayers in the mosque in the way we used to.
In fact, the Muslim Council of Britain has issued special guidelines on what we can and can’t do this Ramadan – and it’s our duty that we all play a part in ensuring the safety of others and society at large. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has consulted a wide range of Islamic scholars and the opinion of the vast majority is that receiving a vaccine does not invalidate your fast.
Normally during Ramadan, me, my husband and kids would go to spend some time with my family in London. This would give me the opportunity to see my grandma – who is the only surviving grandparent I have – and my sister, as well as other relatives such as my aunties, uncles and cousins. We would normally all get together to break our fast, or be invited over for dinners. We also would send food to family, friends and neighbours to keep in the spirit of Ramadan.
Every year since I was young, I’ve looked forward to Ramadan as a time to get closer to God and to become a better version of myself. The holy month has played a pivotal role in my life in teaching me about gratitude, self-discipline and compassion through giving to charity and helping those in need in the community.