Ramadan diary: Upton Park Imam says fasting helps to reflect
PUBLISHED: 10:15 18 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:15 18 July 2014
As thousands of Muslims in Newham fast for the month of Ramadan, the Recorder's Faith and Community page is speaking to local Muslims to hear what the festival means to them.
This week, Khalil Ibn Elyas Laher, Imam at the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in Upton Park, says Ramadan is a time to remember those most vulnerable in the world.
“From the 29th of June, Muslims started to fast during the month of Ramadan.
“This month is the holiest month for Muslims as it serves to remind Muslims to be grateful, righteous and humble.
“From devout Muslims, to those who aren’t as regular in practice, this month allows members of the Muslim community to come together unlike anything before.
“Every day, from sunrise to sunset, Muslims go through the process of not eating any food within those hours.
“For some it is an easy process, but for many it can be enduring and requires discipline, in order for the objective if this holy month to be achieved.
“That objective is to boost the spiritual connection that one has with God and to remember the needy.
“Across the world, many Muslims and non-Muslims are trapped in conflict zones, leaving them depressed whilst being oppressed.
“Many young children die in Africa due to mass poverty and conflict. Every time we feel the hunger whilst fasting, we become grateful - at the fact that we have been blessed, knowing that we will return to a nice hot meal once the sun sets, but for many people, it never does.
“At the end of Ramadan, many Muslims have gone through a spiritual journey that has allowed for a new level of understanding to be reached, along with a strong sense of solidarity for the poor and the oppressed.
“It is a month in which the soul is fed more than the body and a month that gathers all Muslims together.”
For more follow Imam Khalil on Twitter at @khalillaher
If you would like to see your own Ramadan message featured on this page, call Adam on 0208 477 3886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org