Ramadan messages from political leaders
Ramadan messages from Leader of Labour Party, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Leader of the Scottish National Party, the First Minister of Wales and the Mayor of London, exclusively to The Muslim News
Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer MP, Leader of Labour Party
Today, I send warm wishes to Muslims across the UK and around the world as you mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. It was in this month that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.And it is this month – Ramadan – which is an important period of reflection, of prayer, and of fasting for our Muslim communities.
A period to celebrate the power of faith and community. But like last year, this Ramadan will be different. The continuing pandemic means many will have to observe this holy period differently. Congregations will not be able to come together as usual.
Family gatherings may be different. But the spirit shown by the Muslim community over the past year shines through, embodying the essence of this month, and the values of Islam. From doctors and nurses putting their lives on the line to save others, to the countless volunteers and community leaders in Mosques and community centres delivering the vaccine, operating food banks and supporting our most vulnerable.
That spirit is what makes this month extraordinary. So on behalf of all in the Labour Party, I want to take this opportunity to wish the entire Muslim community:
Sir Ed Davey, Lib Dem Leader
I want to send my best wishes to Muslims in the UK and across the world as we welcome the Holy Month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a time of reflection, renewal and generosity. These are much needed in our communities, our politics and all our lives.
A second year observing Ramadan with restrictions on meeting together will be difficult. Holding an iftar will be different, loved ones will be missed and celebrations will be muted.
We must all continue to do our part to control and suppress the virus. As we do, we look forward in hope and faith to when we can see loved ones again.
I wish all those observing this holy month a blessed and peaceful Ramadan.
Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon, Leader, Scottish National Party
To all in the Muslim community in Scotland and around the world, I wish you a very happy Ramadan.
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and it is a time which is traditionally observed through fasting, prayer and contemplation, and spending time with friends and family.
I recognise though that this year’s Ramadan will be exceptionally difficult for so many of you. It will be really tough not to be able to host people in your home or visit friends and family.
Even though many of you will not be able to gather in your local mosque as you would normally, I hope the relaxations on communal worship can provide some comfort to you.
The past year has been incredibly difficult for all of us and the time for prayer and reflection you have will provide an opportunity to remember those we have tragically lost to this dreadful virus. I hope you have still been able to connect with your loved ones, friends and community throughout the past year using video and telephone calls and perhaps even letters.
One thing that the pandemic has highlighted and will continue to highlight is the incredible commitment to charity and neighbourhood spirit that characterises the Muslim community – whether that is providing food parcels or going for shopping for the most vulnerable in our society, or offering your places of worship to be used for Covid-19 testing and vaccination.
It is through that community spirit that we have been able to vaccinate so many adults in Scotland already, a great tool in our armoury against Covid-19. I would urge anyone who is offered the vaccine to take it.
That hope that is presented by our vaccine rollout means that you can now look forward to marking Ramadan more normally in future.
Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister of Wales
As we approach the start of the holy month of Ramadan we are reminded that this month of fasting, self-reflection and prayer teaches us all about the importance of self-discipline, compassion, sacrifice and empathy for others.
These are values which we have seen in abundance in communities across Wales over the last year, amidst the hardships and the challenges caused by coronavirus. This will be the second year that Ramadan has fallen under the long shadow cast by the pandemic.
Once again in Wales, Iftar will only be broken or shared with those in the immediate household or support bubble.
The swift action of our Muslim communities to adapt to new and different ways of worship has undoubtedly saved lives. Thank you to you all for these actions.
And thank you too for opening up mosques to become vaccination centres, helping to protect some of the most vulnerable people against this most cruel virus. In Wales, faith communities, together with Welsh Government, have built close and trusted relationships. We will continue to face the months ahead together.
Ramadan Mubarak to you all.
Rt Hon Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
I want to take this opportunity to wish all Muslims in London, the UK and around the world a peaceful and blessed Ramadan. The last year has been immensely testing and as we begin this holy month my thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones this year.
The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on our families, businesses and way of life. Not only has it had a disproportionate impact on Muslim families, but it’s prevented us from coming together as we usually would. This is the second Ramadan to take place during the pandemic and not being able to have friends and wider family in our homes for iftar will be hard. After a long day’s fast, there is nothing I look forward to more than sharing food and conversation with loved ones. But the risk of Covid-19 means we must again avoid meeting-up indoors because it’s essential we continue to follow the rules to protect ourselves and those we care about.
Thankfully, after many dark days, the development and deployment of multiple vaccines means there is light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccines are safe, effective and halal and they are our route back to doing the things we miss most and seeing the people we love.
I’m so proud of the way our communities have responded over the past year. We’ve seen Mosques across London – and up and down the country – going to incredible lengths to support those in need, regardless of their faith or background. From setting up food banks to taking care of older and more vulnerable residents who might be lonely, and using our masjids as vaccine centres.
The Muslim community has been at the forefront of the response to this pandemic and deserve to be recognised for these extraordinary efforts. And I am proud to have worked with so many of these extraordinary Muslim organisations from City Hall, to help them serve the community.
Guided by the teachings of our Prophet (PBUH), who preached a message of peace, tolerance and compassion, British Muslims have shown this year why our diversity isn’t a weakness, but our greatest strength. The kindness, empathy and generosity we’ve seen has been truly inspiring, and I firmly believe that we must honour the selflessness and sacrifices of British Muslims by building a better London and a fairer country, where no community is ever left behind.
Achieving this vision won’t be easy, but if we draw on the strength our community has demonstrated throughout this pandemic, I’m confident we can create the more equal and just society that Islam compels us to strive for. So, as Ramadan begins, let’s commit to looking within so that we may reach out to others who share our goal of a more equal London, a more harmonious society and a more peaceful world.
From my family to yours, Ramadan Mubarak.
First Published in The Muslim News newspaper https://muslimnews.co.uk/newspaper/ramadan/ramdan-messages-political-leaders/