Ramadan, which started on the 23 April and lasts for 30 days is observed by the majority of Muslims across the Keighley and Ilkley constituency. This requires participants to refrain from eating and drinking during sunlight hours – from dusk till dawn. Once the sun has set, participants are able to start eating and drinking a meal known as the Iftar. Prior to sunrise, a further meal is eaten called the Suhoor. For Muslims, it is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement and heightened worship.
As we enter the final week of Ramadan, I have decided to fast for three days, starting from sunrise this morning. I’m not a Muslim, but I want to share part of this experience with the estimated 13,000 Muslims who live across our constituency.
So for the next three days, I won’t eat or drink, from dawn until dusk - but will of course carry on working as normal.
I believe that if I am to represent the whole of the constituency to the best of my ability, it is really important for me to understand what my constituents undertake and what Ramadan means to them, and the best way of doing this, is to join in, even if for a short period of time. I am conscious that since Ramadan began, the UK has been under strict lockdown measures in response to the Coronavirus, and therefore I totally appreciate just how difficult this years Ramadan will be for many people across Keighley and Ilkley. We are one community and as the MP for the whole community, I believe it good to get involved and share in that experience.