۱۱ اسفند ۱۳۹۹ | Mar 1, 2021
How the Muslim community of Bangor is celebrating the holy month of Ramadan during lockdown

Ayad Mawla, the secretary of the Bangor Islamic Centre, shared what it was like to observe Ramadan during the pandemic.

Hawzah News Agency (Bangor - Wales) - Muslim communities across the world are celebrating Ramadan.

But due to government restriction and a countrywide lockdown leading to the closure of Mosques, the way Muslims will spend the holy month has changed.

Ayad Mawla, the secretary of the Bangor Islamic Centre, shared what it was like to observe  Ramadan during the pandemic.

Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar and is a period of fasting observed by Muslim adults. They must abstain from food and drink from sunrise until sunset.

The holy month helps those observing it focus on charity, prayer and purifying their lives.

Ramadan is celebrated once a year, but the dates are different each year as it is based on the lunar calendar.

The religious holiday has been held at the Bangor Islamic Centre since 1991, which is home to over 500 families in the Gwynedd city and neighbouring areas.

According to Ayad, during the religious holidays, the centre accommodates 2,000 people from Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy as a Mosque.

"Our community is full of people from different backgrounds, whether they are students, doctors or traders. We are a mixed group of people," he told North Wales Live.

"Ramadan is about the continuity of our faith through the notion of fasting.

"For a long period of time, we abstain from anything that can cause harm to our spirituality - food, drink, smoking and swearing.

"The whole idea is to build your sense of character through spiritual mode. It's a time of reflection, a time to think about your community or society, and ask yourself: how can I positively contribute to it?

"Every year, when I celebrate Ramadan, it's always with mixed feelings. At the beginning, I find it very challenging, but by the end, I find it's not that bad. In fact, a part of me wants to carry on with the fasting!

"I think the reason behind that is the fact that your community is going through the same thing - the same journey and therefore you can offer support."

Due to the coronavirus pandemic however, Ayad and many others in the community cannot practise their beliefs during the holy month as they have done in previous years.

Ayad said: "Of course, lockdown is making it particularly hard.

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