LibLink: Cllr Rabina Khan: This Eid, technology will ease loneliness and bring people together online.

Eid Mubarak to everyone who is celebrating this weekend.

To mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Cllr Rabina Khan has written about how technology will help as people who would normally be together have to spend this special time apart:

This year, under Covid-19 restrictions, Eid will mean that families and communities will not be able to come together in each other’s homes or any other public places. They will pray and eat Eid food without being together, but they can be connected to each other’s lives through technology. When I was a child, the technology to connect people worldwide through a phone or iPad did not exist, so we are incredibly fortunate today to have these tools at our disposal.

She remembers those who don’t have access to technology, though.

Muslim garment workers in Bangladesh face no pay and the prospect of begging for food after western retail giants cancelled hundreds of millions of pounds worth of orders. Some companies, however, have taken a more ethical approach and have honoured all existing contracts, such as H&M and Zara.

Without access to technology, these workers will be completely alone. This brings to mind Imam Shaykh Ahmad Faruq Siddiqi, chaplain at the Royal London Hospital, who spent the last seven weeks facilitating last farewells via Zoom for dying loved ones and their families. He may well be experiencing another difficult day.

She talks about the significance of Ramadan and hopes for the future:

The last 10 days of Ramadan are special ones for Muslims in which we seek salvation and forgiveness, but they are also filled with hope for a better world. It was an incredible moment to hear on Thursday night the moving recitation of the Adhan, the call to prayer, arranged by Canary Wharf Group in the UK’s financial district. Under a Ramadan Covid-19 lockdown, this was an exceptional display of coming together and recognising the contributions of Muslims…

…As Muslims, we are supposed to use the month of fasting as a time to reflect, understand and learn. April 2020 has seen those with different or even no faith reflect, understand and learn too. Ramadan and Eid under the Covid-19 lockdown will be one I and many Muslims and non-Muslims will remember for years to come.

If we have learned anything during this particularly unusual month of fasting and tragedy – and in celebration to mark the end of Ramadan – it should be to work towards a humbler, more tolerant and united world.

You can read the whole article here.

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