How Chesterfield's Muslim community is celebrating Ramadan
Chesterfield’s Muslim community is joining others across the world to celebrate Ramadan.
The festival remembers the month the Quran, the Muslim holy book, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
This year, Ramadan started on April 12 and will end on May 11.
Ramadan is a time for reflection, contemplation and celebration.
It involves prayer and fasting – believers taking part will not eat or drink anything during daylight hours.
Mahroof Saddique, treasurer of the Muslim Welfare Association of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, said he has ‘always felt passionately about this month’.
He told the Derbyshire Times: “Ramadan is an extremely important month of the Islamic year for a Muslim because it essentially allows him or her to ascertain taqwa (god consciousness) and to develop a bond or closeness with their lord.
“During this extremely holy month Muslims around the world will reflect on their spiritual lives and how best they contribute to the societies around them.
“It also allows one to appreciate how people who have no food or drink live their lives and makes you more grateful to your lord.
“A very little known or reported fact about Ramadan is that Muslims around the world use this month to pay their charity (Zakaat ) which consists of 2.5 per cent of their overall wealth.
“In the UK alone this amounts to many millions of pounds which is distributed to the orphans, the vulnerable and the most needy in society on an annual basis.”
We asked Mahroof what it has been like celebrating Ramadan during the pandemic.
He said: “Ramadan in 2020 was extremely difficult because like others we had to close our doors and this, of course, meant that our members could not attend and listen to the recitation of the Quran which is an absolute must during Ramadan as it is belief it was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) during this blessed month.
“This year, though, things are much better as people are accessing our premises albeit socially distanced and with their face masks on but it allows for a sense of community to develop and it’s nice to see friends and family we have not seen for a long while.”
The Derbyshire Times wishes all our Muslim friends a very happy Ramadan.