MANCHESTER, UK — Saturday 13th July 2013
The Blessed Hub, a young and vibrant community service were invited to take part in the Experiencing Ramadan project run by Ali Amla of Penwortham, near Preston. It is an opportunity for people of all faiths and none to join the Muslim community in fasting for the day. The event would also raise money for the charity Mind with everyone joining the Muslim community for Iftar to share a meal and reflections.
The event was organised by The Blessed Hub Unity Project with Aspiring Communities and Naqshbandi Aslami, working with many organisations and individuals across Manchester. The participants included Alchemy Arts, Muslim Youth League UK, Manchester Muslim Environmentalists, and many representatives of different mosques.
After going without food and drink from sunrise to sunset, participants were invited to break their fast at a lovely Hub in Manchester, where they learnt more about Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, as well as enjoying some delicious food. The sponsored event has raised £697.40 so far for the Mind Charity.
Nick, who was one of those who fasted said,
“I didn’t find there was too much to it. Of course everyone loves but it’s doing something to preoccupy your time and relaxing, not getting stressed about anything or worries. I was relaxing and I found the day easy. I am feeling fine, only now is my stomach grumbling. I think it is a good experience that everyone should do, whether you’re doing it for health reasons, for me it’s something that’s about putting everything else aside, all the problems of work even if it’s for a day at least. It is a breath of fresh air. It’s a good thing.”
Jay Diamond, a TV and radio presenter was also present fasting for the day. She said:
“I thought this was a good opportunity to look into a very small version of Ramadan and look into fasting. The last couple of days for me has been about learning what fasting is, how you do it and what we would expect to get from it, what it brings in their lives spiritually, their purpose and connection to God. So I decided to dedicate the day to myself and my relationship with God. I prayed and meditated. It has been really inspiring today and I will fast again. The people made me feel welcome and taken care of. I saw true loving heart spirit in the Muslim community.”
Arash, from the Manchester Muslim Environmentalists was experiencing his second Ramadan after converting to Islam only a year ago gave his reflections on his experiences so far:
“It has been a great spiritual journey. In past few days seeing posts by charities on Syria, for example, a scholar issued a verdict that eating cats is permitted because there is literally no food left. That’s what Ramadan is about. Just finding out that they don’t have any food, and we have an abundance of food. There are people out there who do not have an option to fast. They have to fast. It is about remembering that you are blessed with an amazing life here and that there are people who cannot fast like this but have to do so by obligation.”
Ali Amla said: “This was a great opportunity to experience first hand how it feels to give up food and water for a day and open the fast with the Muslim community. All the participants were touched by the hospitality shown, the community pulled together to provide a feast. It took courage to decide to fast for a day. Thanks to all participants.”
Check out the Experiencing Ramadan page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Experiencingramadan
Sponsor and help fundraise for Charity Mind: http://www.justgiving.com/teams/Experiencing-Ramadan2013
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