Musician and actor Riz Ahmed joined British artists, politicians and essential workers to film a message for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, asking them to continue following social distancing rules amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 60-clip features a host of public figures, including Riz Ahmed, Konnie Huq, Naughty Boy, Asad Ahmed and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan asking British Muslims to “pray from home”.
“This Ramadan I’m staying at home, to protect our doctors, nurses, to protect our NHS, to protect our superheroes,” the video opens.
“This Ramadan, I’m praying for the world but from home.
“You can be a lifesaver, protect our frontline, protect our NHS, protect our doctors, nurses and save lives.
“And you can do all of that by just staying at home and save lives.”
Joining the celebrities were frontline workers – those from the NHS, Met Police and London Ambulance Service urging people to keep to the government guidelines by staying at home whilst they are fasting, and for iftar (breaking fast).
“This Ramadan, I’m doing iftar at home to protect our NHS and save lives,” London Mayor Sadiq Khan said, before celebrities and medical staff wished everyone a “Ramadan Mubarak”.
England, Scotland and Wales have announced another 589 coronavirus victims today, with the total number of deaths in the UK spiking to 18,689.
Millions of Muslims around the world will rely on Saudi Arabia to announce the beginning of the fasting month, which is indicated by the appearance of the moon’s new crescent.
This is because the Islamic calendar, which dates back to the emigration of the first Muslims over 1,400 years ago, is based upon the movements of the moon.
But according to some amateur astronomers and Islamic scholars, Saudi Arabia is already set to get this year’s Ramadan date wrong – as it has allegedly done many times in the past.
“I expect that Saudi Arabia will carry out its Ramadan moon sighting on Thursday, which in itself concedes that they started the month of Shaaban – the month that precedes Ramadan – a day too early,” says Imad Ahmed of the NCS.