British Muslim celebrities share positive message for Eid during lockdown
Birmingham born comedian Adil Ray has shared a heartfelt video message on social media as Ramadan comes to a close and families begin to prepare for Eid celebrations during the coronavirus lockdown.
A number of British Muslim celebrities from the world of sport, comedy, radio, cookery, and film took part in recording an inspirational message which highlighted the importance of community, well-being, and also safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
The video message was shared on Twitter by Adil Ray as the month of Ramadan comes to a close.
The special message encourages the Muslim community to continue to work together in the battle against the indiscriminate and ruthless coronavirus pandemic by spending Eid at home with loved ones and thinking of others.
He said, “This year we can stay at home and give consideration to others.
“What a wonderful Eid gift that would be.”
During this holy month Muslims observe a fast each day from dawn to dusk. No food or drink is allowed and people are encouraged to reflect upon the deeper spiritual significance of existence, including the remembrance of those who have little in the way of sustenance in their daily lives.
Acts of kindness and charity become a focal point as does interactions with fellow human beings.
The journey through Ramadan is meant to strengthen the body and soul, and to bring humility and gratitude for the things the people often take for granted in life.
This year, with the coronavirus pandemic raging across the world, Ramadan took on a different aspect.
People were no longer able to go to mosques for their evening prayers, families were not able to visit and share food together, and the loss of loved ones to coronavirus took a terrible toll on the community spirit.
The special video message being shared on Twitter by Ray encourages people to celebrate Eid and observe the government’s coronavirus guidelines during a difficult and testing period for all humanity.
As many Muslims look forward to celebrating Eid at this difficult time, a few of us wanted to record this message. We would be grateful if the wider community would support us and retweet. Thank you @ArmeenaRK @BegumNadiya @nazirafzal @Saqlain_Mushtaq @AzharMahmood11 #eidathome pic.twitter.com/reg8jCh5FH
— Adil Ray OBE (@adilray) May 21, 2020
BBC chef and winner of The Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain, said, “As we enter the final days of Ramadan and begin the auspicious festival of Eid al-Fitr, now could not be a better time to put others first.”
Cricketing coach Azhar Mahmood agrees with Nadiya and added, “Helping those around us is the ultimate purpose of charity.”
The theme of helping others and working together is a core part of the Islamic faith.
BBC presenter and activist Mehreen Baig feels that unity is paramount in battling against coronavirus.
She said, “We must continue to work together and fight the coronavirus pandemic.”
Actor and Comedian Abdullah Afzal, from ‘Citizen Khan’, underlined the government’s guidelines about social gatherings and he asked people to “spend Eid with our immediate families at home”.
The social gathering rule was picked up by journalist and presenter Rageh Omaar.
He said, “This Eid, it’s not permissible to congregate in large groups, including praying at mosques and parks.”
He made a plea for worshipers to offer up their Eid prayers at home with their immediate family members and to stay safe.
Lawyer and former Chief Crown Prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, urged people to use technology such as mobile phones to video call loved ones during Eid and thereby keep coronavirus at bay.
Former Blue Peter presenter, Konnie Huq, said, “By following the guidance we are helping to protect not just ourselves, but also our families.”
BBC Asian Network presenter Noreen Khan repeated the essential coronavirus safety mantra of washing hands and observing social distancing.
Cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq reached out to the community to continue the good work and ‘protect the elderly and vulnerable’ who have been hit particularly hard by coronavirus.
The British Muslim community will welcome this positive video after the disturbing media narrative which tries to link Muslims to the spread of coronavirus.
Adil Ray is hoping when the darkness and paranoia of coronavirus is over there will be a time for reflection and a coming together of the communities.
His life is an example of a diverse set of communities uniting to form a unique experience. His mother Nargis, who was born in Kenya, arrived in Britain during the 1960s. She married a Pakistani labourer and their son Adil was born in the Yardley Wood area of Birmingham.
Ray describes himself as “a mix of Pakistani, African, Muslim and Brummie.”
He added, “I feel lucky that Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan and England are all of my house.
“It’s a reminder that you really don’t know who you are until you find out what you were.