SHAFAQNA- ABNA: NON-MUSLIM staff and volunteers from charities and the fire service are among those fasting for a day during Ramahdan. One Voice Blackburn is inviting non-Muslims to fast for one day, for the community project. People from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Pleckgate High School, Lancashire Mind, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust and many members of the public are among those who are taking part.
‘I’m not a Muslim but I will fast for one day’ is now in its seventh year. Ramadhan is the holy Islamic month where Muslims forgo food and water between sunrise and sunset. This year Ramadhan in the UK consists of a 16 and a half hour fast, having started on April 13 and ending on May 11. Crew manager Mark Hoyle, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I am undertaking the fast to show support for colleagues, coupled with gaining a fuller understanding of the meaning of Ramadhan.”
Amy Sheehan, from Lancashire Mind, said: “I am taking part for two reasons. Firstly, I have many Muslim friends who I see fasting every year. Although I have always respected them for their faith and resilience, I wanted to take this opportunity to experience what they do on a smaller scale to have a greater understanding.
“Secondly, as a manager, I have had many Muslim colleagues over the years and wish to have greater empathy for the difficulties they must face at work during Ramadhan so I can be a better employer and ensure a supportive and safe environment for them during this sacred time.”
Sarah Roxby, from Pleckgate High School said: “I have chosen to fast because I think it is important to put yourself in the students’ shoes and experience their routine during the Month of Ramadhan.” Abrar Hussain, Chairman of One Voice spoke about the community cohesion project. He said: “This year, despite the restrictions imposed due to Covid-19, a huge number of people are taking part from the safety of their home.
“This is a testament to the resounding unity in Blackburn and Darwen. “The ‘I’m not a Muslim but I will fast for one day’ project won an excellence award in the marketing section of the national Inclusive Companies Awards in 2018 and has had more than 1,000 participants since its launch.