South London and Surrey’s Ahmadiyya Muslim community announced plans for a virtual Big Iftar meal to mark Ramadan during quarantine.
With lockdown measures to fight the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus remaining in place until at least May 11, the Ahmadiyya’s yearly celebrations of the Iftar evening meal, that end of Ramadan’s daily fasting, cannot take place as it has done in recent years with mass gatherings.
Instead, this Saturday (April 25) the Ahmadiyya community will celebrate the first of five Big Iftar meals during the lockdown, and are inviting anyone interested to register online.
The month of Ramadan in 2020 began yesterday (April 23) and will last until Saturday, May 23.
This year the Ahmadiyya’s virtual Big Iftars will bring people together for the evening meal and also feature discussions on Islam, Ramadan and social issues, a spokesperson said.
“As proven by research there are many physical and mental health benefits of fasting. During these talks you can learn how fasting can strengthen your resilience in the current crisis, help with self-development, root causes of addictions and domestic abuse,” Ibrahim Ikhlaf, Director for Outreach and Public Affairs, said.
“Event participants will also have the opportunity to try our Fasting Challenge and join the live event to break the fast with the Muslim community,” he added.
The UK’s largest mosque is the Ahmadiyya’s Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, the location for previous Big Iftar events, and the area’s Ahmadiyya community are among the most active volunteers in the region.
During lockdown Ahmadiyya Muslims have redoubled their well-known volunteering efforts, not least among their youth wing AMYA.
AMYA said its volunteers have helped over 5,800 households in the UK since the coronavirus outbreak began in the UK.
Food packages have been given thousands of homes where vulnerable people are isolating, hundreds of meals have been given to NHS key workers and helplines set up for those who might need support.
To join in with any of the five Big Iftar meals, head to the bigvirtualiftar.co.uk website for more details.