Welcome to the neighbourhood.
Often when we think of Ramadan, we think first of our communities. Our family, our friends, our neighbours. Giving and receiving food and spending time with those we love. This Ramadan will be a different one in that respect, but our communities need us now more than ever. Staying connected, in what ways we can, and supporting those around us will be crucial to help protect our collective wellbeing.
We hope that the ideas we have collected below will help to inspire you to reach out to your neighbourhood and use what resources we are blessed with to give what we are able, and as we all endeavour to grow in our spirituality this month, follow the spirit of our most noble example, Our Messenger (SAW).
“He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side goes hungry.”
Source: al-Sunan al-Kubrá 19049
Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani
If there are initiatives in your communities that you would like to share,
please add them below – the more the merrier!
Photography by Nadeem Ghafur @nadeemghafur
Streets of Granada, Spain
What can we do?
Reach out to your neighbours – write a short card, print the note below and pass it through people’s door to see if there are any elderly people who need help – this can be doing shopping for them, picking up prescriptions or just chatting on the phone to make sure they’re okay
Speak to the homeless – they are among the most vulnerable during this crisis – check in with people you see on the street or with your local YHA or St. Mungo’s to see if there are resources you can donate
Support national initiatives – there are hundreds of petitions and crowdfunding initiatives being set up to encourage the government to make decision that will allow more people to be supported during this crisis
Join local community groups – are there local initiatives being supported which you can join or start. Looking up your area + Mutual Aid group should send you to the right place – you can do drop offs, or coordinate deliveries from home – whether you’re in or out, there’s lots you can do to help
Check in with the mosque – if you are able and not vulnerable, mosques are often needing healthy volunteers to support in the washing of bodies before the funeral, which would usually be done by family but due to the current situation, many are not able to carry out the rituals. Help support your local communities and families honour and remember their loved ones.
Teach – lots of students have been left up in the air due to school closures, and the most vulnerable will be the ones who will suffer the most in the future. If you’re able, grab those GCSE and A-Level textbooks and reach out to see if you can volunteer to teach a student, even an hour online each week for free to help support them during this tough time
Beginning Monday 20th April, BBC Bitesize will publish daily online lessons for all ages. They will also have a new dedicated TV channel full of learning content, podcasts on BBC Sounds and loads of educational videos on iPlayer.
Donate – although the NHS is not, and should not be treated as a charity, many individuals are raising money to ensure volunteers have the PPE they need. Have a look for these as well as looking for smaller charities who are really suffering during this time, including those supporting people affected by Domestic Violence.
Mosques are heavily reliant upon donations and with the current situation donor income will have reduced by almost 100%. However they will still have daily overheads to maintain their buildings so do donate towards the house of god in hope that God will build a house for you in Jannah.
Get stitching – masks are in short supply in care homes, schools and hostels around the country. Have a go at stitching some cloth masks for them using a simple online tutorial and any spare fabric (including old bedsheets) you might have around the home
Connect – this year will be different, with lots of us not able to share food for iftar in the way we might have. Call your family as though you would if you were eating with them, help your grandparents with zoom and be there as much as you can.
Give food – local food banks are in desperate need for food at the moment. Call them to see what you can provide. A hot meal could absolutely make someone’s day!
UK Wide Organisations
Refund university rent: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/304855
Suspend council tax: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/303274
Protect housing benefit payments: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300204
Help for zero-hour contract holders: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/301328#
Debt relief to support countries fighting COVID: https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/coronavirus_debt_relief_loc/
Formal enquiry into lack of PPE for NHS workers: https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-the-government-must-commit-to-a-full-public-inquiry-into-lack-of-ppe-for-nhs-staff
Testing frontline workers: https://www.change.org/p/test-all-frontline-care-workers-for-coronavirus
Protecting migrant workers in Singapore: https://www.change.org/p/minister-josephine-teo-protect-our-migrant-workers-from-covid-19?source_location=search_index&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=&grid_position=5&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uANdqRgEAAAAAXps22y%2Bm%2FU5mZGE0NTNlMQ%3D%3D
Furlough for childcare workers: https://www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-80-furloughed-pay-for-all-childcare-workers-as-the-government-promised?pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAJrISQEAAAAAXps3SZaSKWNkNjEzNjgxYQ%3D%3D&source_location=discover_feed