This year the observance of Ramadan and Eid celebrations will be impacted by Government restrictions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The restrictions are going to impact on who is able to take part in daily fasting, working/studying from home arrangements and participation in communal prayers and meals. The Muslim Council of Britain has produced useful COVID-19 guidance for #RamadanAtHome.
The dates of Ramadan in 2020 are from 23 April to 23 May.
Muslims abstain from consuming any food or drinks from dawn to sunset on each individual day, over this period. The times of the fast for each day are approximately 3am (when the fast commences) to approximately 8.30-9.30pm (when the fast ends/is opened). Times vary slightly each day and more specific information on the daily timings for Leeds can be found at SalahTimes.
In practice, this means that Muslims fast each day over this month for approximately 18 hours per day.
During this time, many Muslims try to follow a normal work/study routine as far as possible, but generally have responsibilities for devotion to extra prayers and readings to their otherwise daily religious commitments.
Students and staff will take personal responsibility for managing their commitment to Ramadan. Some staff members will try to arrange annual leave to accommodate these extra activities. Students can request alternative exam arrangements by completing a notification of religious commitments form by Friday 21 February 2020.
The Purpose and Significance of the observance of Ramadan
- To attain nearness and closeness to their God through devotion and commitment to fasting and prayers.
- To commemorate the holy text called the Quran, by devoting more time to reading and reciting it.
- To appreciate the experience of those who are less fortunate than themselves.
- To give particular emphasis to charity and generosity – this is especially encouraged during this month.
- Ramadan is also a time for significant community and family spirit and providing support. Many individuals and families will pray and eat together and support each other in many ways throughout this period. At the end of Ramadan, all Muslims observe the festival of Eid ul Fitr (approx. 23/24 May) a day of celebration with families and communities.