British Muslims are preparing for the holy month of Ramadan after last year’s usual community gatherings were scrapped due to Covid restrictions.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, begins with the first sighting of the new moon over Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, the High Judicial Council in Saudi Arabia confirmed a moon sighting to determine the start of Ramadan.

The first night of the religious month was last night (April 12) with the first fast beginning today (April 13).

Many Muslims abstain from all eating and drinking during daylight hours, although Islamic medical professionals have urged those fasting to still get vaccinated against coronavirus.

And although mosques will be able to welcome worshipers, there will still be changes to celebrations.

A spokesperson for The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said: “Ramadan will be different this year, but it does not have to be unsafe.

“By taking measures such as reducing exposure, social distancing and avoiding prolonged duration of gathering - Muslim communities will adapt in order to fulfil our religious obligations whilst maintaining safety from Covid.

“The Muslim Council of Britain has worked with our affiliates, healthcare professionals and public health officials across the country to ensure that this Ramadan is a #SafeRamadan.”

While restrictions are more relaxed for Ramadan 2021 and some activities will be allowed in the mosque in comparison to 2020, many Muslims will largely be observing Ramadan at home.

Therefore, it is important that families carefully plan Ramadan activities at home to ensure they gain maximum benefit from the month.

Dorset Echo: Ramadan safety guidance. (MCB)Ramadan safety guidance. (MCB)

The MCB has shared guidance on enjoying a #SafeRamadan at home.

  • Online – Stream Islamic sermons, taraweeh or other services to your home, either pre-recorded or live.
  • Prayers – Organise prayers including taraweeh at home as a family and pray as a congregation in the home.
  • Virtual Iftars – Arrange virtual iftars with extended family and the community through the many online video calling facilities available, listen to the maghrib adhan and break your fasts together.
  • Plan food – Plan your iftar menus in advance so that you can limit multiple shopping trips to minimise your need to leave home and help minimise the spread of the virus.  
  • Drink well – Hydrate well for the long work days. Dehydration can lead to tiredness, headaches, lack of focus/concentration. 
  • Energy foods – Eat high energy, slow burn foods for suhoor (starting your fast) that can give you energy gradually throughout the day
  • Breaks – Take regular breaks to reflect and take time for yourself. 
  • Mental Health – Our lives can sometimes already be full and we try to fill it with more worship during Ramadan. Sometimes it is quality over quantity.