With Ramadan beginning this week, we wanted to look at the holy month for British Muslims in the latest episode of our series Young, British and Muslim – and a little known aspect about the acts of generosity that happen during this time.
Ramadan is a month when Muslims fast between sunrise and set, which is around 15 hours in the UK. But it’s also the month when Muslims collectively donate substantial amounts of money for charity.
According to the Charity Commission, British Muslim charities raise £100 million during the month of Ramadan alone. That’s equivalent to each British Muslim donating £371 per year. Compare that to an average of all Britons, who donate £18 per year.
In this episode we hear about the events, iftars and charity initiatives taking place across the country during Ramadan, and how British Muslims came to the aid of others during the Grenfell Tower fire and terror attacks at Manchester Arena and Finsbury Park, which all happened during Ramadan a year ago.
Would relationships between Britain’s faith communities be improved if – as one of our guests believes – these acts of charity were better highlighted?
Our guests in the studio with Rageh Omaar are:
•Shelina Janmohamed, author of Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World and and vice-president of Ogilvy Noor, an Islamic branding consultancy
•Omar Salha, founder of social enterprise Ramadan Tent Project, which runs an annual Open Iftaar initiative for the homeless and people of all faiths. His organisation helped victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
•Samra Said, manager of Human Appeal charity’s UK projects including poverty, homelessness and emergency responses including the Manchester attack.
We also speak to Mohammed Mahmoud, the imam of the Muslim Welfare House in Finsbury Park. He protected Darren Osborne moments after he attacked Muslim worshippers as they came out of a mosque during Ramadan in June last year. He spoke exclusively to us about what has happened in the year since. You can watch his full interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6F9p_oYv04
And we visit the Outer Hebrides where one man, the local community and national donations have helped build their first ever mosque which has opened just in time for Ramadan.
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