I Am Birmingham presents the diary of a Birmingham key worker as he observed the holy month of Ramadan and prepared for Eid during lockdown.

Asim Janjua, a Digital Communications Officer with West Midlands Police, reveals the personal changes and sacrifices he has made during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the holy month of Ramadan, which requires fasting from dawn to dusk, came to a close this weekend and the Muslim community celebrated Eid, Asim shared his experience with I Am Birmingham readers.

Asim started by explaining the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on Ramadan:

“Ramadan is a time for family and togetherness. I’m one of the lucky few whose been able to spend this Ramadan locked down with my immediate family, but I know many Muslims who haven’t and my heart goes out to them.”

However, despite being together with his immediate family, Asim still faced some challenges when it came to the evening prayers during Ramadan which traditionally take place at a mosque.

He said: “It’s still been tough. This year we’ve not been able to open our fast with our extended family or visit the mosque and pray.

“I will never complain about going to the mosque late at night ever again!”

Despite the negative impact of the coronavirus lockdown on Ramadan and Eid there were some positive aspects too according to Asim, “There’s a blessing in everything. Being locked down as a family has meant we’ve really been able to give Ramadan our all and focus on the spiritual side as a collective.”

Asim mentioned the impact of the lockdown on Eid celebrations and the loss of meeting his extended family.

He said: “Eid is going to be weird this year. Usually we have a gigantic get together with our entire family surrounded by food and laughter.

“If my family are reading this, we will miss you. I’m also missing my barber and gutted I can’t get my traditional ‘Eid trim’.”

Asim and his family are all key workers and they have all risen to the new challenges set by the pandemic.

He said: “My whole family are key workers.

“While they’ve been busy teaching their school kids over Zoom, I’ve been on the other side of the living room making sure we’re sharing vital messages across our digital channels.”

Key worker Asim Janjua and his family celebrating Eid during lockdownWMP
Key worker Asim Janjua and his family celebrating Eid during lockdown

Asim added that working on the social media team he came across stories of human kindness during an incredibly difficult and challenging time.

He said: “Working on the social media team I’ve seen first hand the kindness and support shown during this crisis. People being amazing.”

Asim added how these acts of human kindness are key components of Ramadan. He said, “Those actions are a reflection of what this blessed month means to Muslims – solidarity, reflection and perseverance while giving generously with open arms.”

Asim concluded his lockdown diary account by thanking people for their patience during this challenging time in recent human history and he out Eid greetings to everyone.

He said: “I wholeheartedly say thank you to everyone for your patience. Everything is different, but we can get through this. And to my fellow Muslims, I wish you all a safe and blessed Eid Mubarak and hope Ramadan has been rewarding for you.”


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