As a Mosque in the heart of Manchester, we unequivocally condemn the actions of the Israeli “militarised” police forces and soldiers within the sacred compound of Masjid Al Aqsa.
All places of worship, regardless of faith, are safe sanctuaries for the sole purpose of private and collective worship. It is unacceptable that they become a place of violent conflict, disorder and bloodshed. The images which were tantamount to a an illegal military assault under international law via the use of aggressive guns and grenades are totally inconsistent with all accepted moral, civil, ethical and legal international law.
Masjid Al Aqsa is one of the most sacred sites in the Muslim world and it was even more heart breaking to see the images and videos which were circulated in the last few nights during the blessed holy month of Ramadan.
We whole heartedly condemn the relentless bombing of Israeli fighter jets targeting civilian neighbourhoods in Gaza as Palestinians celebrate Eid al-Fitr. 84 civilians have died, including 17 children. More than 480 civilians have been wounded, and the figures are rising as the bombardment continues.
We call on our government, Prime Minister, our MPs, our congregations, and all our brethren in monotheistic faith, to openly voice their concerns about the distressing situation in Jerusalem – such that there is no further repeat in the future of such horrific events.
Given the disturbing scenes in Sheikh Jarrah over the past few days, we wish to emphasise that East Jerusalem remains part of the occupied Palestinian territory, in which international humanitarian law still applies. The occupying power must respect and cannot confiscate private property in occupied territory, and must respect the laws in force in the country.
Israel cannot impose its own set of laws in occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, to illegally evict Palestinians from their homes. We urge world leaders to stop Israel from demolishing and evicting Palestinians from their neighbourhoods, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.
As you fast from what is ordinarily permissible, you learn to fast from what is prohibited at all times.
The questions about Ramadan are always pretty much the same. First there is interest in how we observe the sacred month, which began this week. Then there is shock at how intense the requirement of fasting is:
“Wait, so you fast all the way from before sunrise to sunset?”
“You can’t even drink water?”
“I could never do that.”
Don’t worry, it doesn’t cause us self-doubt, nor do we get offended. In fact, it’s pretty cool when your friends think you have superhuman abilities.
The reality, though, is that fasting is very doable, and rewarding. There are, of course, those Muslims who should not fast, due to illness or some other temporary condition; they are excused, and they make it up if and when they can. If someone is permanently unable to fast, they are required to feed a poor person for every day missed.
But most of us are able to overcome the effects of fasting within the first few days of Ramadan. You may miss your coffee, and fatigue and hunger still happen, but the body does adjust.
One question remains: Why do we fast during the month of Ramadan?
Firstly, it is a requirement in the Quran and pillar of Islam. The Quran states, “Oh you who believe, fasting has been prescribed upon you as it has been prescribed on those who came before you so that you may attain God-Consciousness.”
Fasting, in other words, has been the way of prophets and nations before us and is specifically intended to make us more conscious of our Lord. When we become mindful of our physical intake of blessings we otherwise mindlessly consume, we become more mindful of the one who bestowed those blessings upon us.
This has numerous intended benefits. The physical discipline of fasting also helps us to be more mindful of our spiritual consumption as well: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught, for instance, that God has no use for the one who refrains from food but not from false speech, or lying and gossip.
Besides denying ourselves what is prohibited spiritually, fasting helps us live positively as well. Since sin is born out of ingratitude, fasting makes us more aware of our blessings, hence more grateful and driven to good. The end result of Ramadan mentioned in the Quran is that you “complete the term of fasting and glorify your Lord for what He has guided you to, and so that you may be amongst the grateful.”
This is what makes us more conscious of God: We become more conscious of his blessings. When we become more conscious of His blessings upon us, we become more conscious of how we use those blessings ourselves. We in turn become more conscious of those who don’t have regular access to those blessings that we are voluntarily refraining from. We become more intentional about channeling those blessings to those we may have otherwise forgotten.
The great Muslim scholar and sage Imam Ibn Rajab once said, “Some of the pious predecessors were asked, “Why has fasting been instituted? They responded, ‘So that the rich will taste hunger and thus will not forget the hungry.’”
So what may be lost on many of us regarding the fasting of Ramadan is that it’s just as much about filling our souls and transforming our society with goodness as it is about restraining our bodies from food and drink. We live our best selves in Ramadan; we fall in love with it despite its restrictions.
What may surprise some is that most Muslims actually enjoy Ramadan so much that they grieve when the month comes to an end. We miss reading the Quran throughout the day and in long nights of prayer, and pushing ourselves to be charitable through it all: charitable with our wealth, with our words and with our spirits to everyone around us.
We come to the realization that true happiness is in feeding the soul and being satisfied with your sustenance, that prayer is better than sleep and that charity is better than consumption.
In the light of the recent government announcement that places of worship will be allowed to re-open from 15th of June for ‘individual prayers’, The Muslim Youth Foundation will remain closed.
Mosques are first and foremost used for congregational prayers. Jama’at/ congregational prayers even with a small group of people, following social distancing and other preventive measures, will not be allowed in mosques from 15th of June.
We have assessed and consulted other mosques and have come to the decision that in the interest of protecting the safety of our congregation and the wider public community it will be challenging for us to open at this time under the current government advice.
We would like to thank our community for their support, patience and understanding during this difficult time. We will continue offering online educational and welfare services, as we have done for the duration of the lockdown and we are hopeful that the Mosques will re-open in the not so distant future, Insha’Allah.
1 Ar-Rahman (الرحمن) The All-Compassionate
2 Ar-Rahim (الرحيم) The All-Merciful
3 Al-Malik (الملك) The Absolute Ruler
4 Al-Quddus (القدوس) The Pure One
5 As-Salam (السلام) The Source of Peace
6 Al-Mu’min (المؤمن) The Inspirer of Faith
7 Al-Muhaymin (المهيمن) The Guardian
8 Al-Aziz (العزيز) The Victorious
9 Al-Jabbar (الجبار) The Compeller
10 Al-Mutakabbir (المتكبر) The Greatest
11 Al-Khaliq (الخالق) The Creator
12 Al-Bari’ (البارئ) The Maker of Order
13 Al-Musawwir (المصور) The Shaper of Beauty
14 Al-Ghaffar (الغفار) The Forgiving
15 Al-Qahhar (القهار) The Subduer
16 Al-Wahhab (الوهاب) The Giver of All
17 Ar-Razzaq (الرزاق) The Sustainer
18 Al-Fattah (الفتاح) The Opener
19 Al-`Alim (العليم) The Knower of All
20 Al-Qabid (القابض) The Constrictor
21 Al-Basit (الباسط) The Reliever
22 Al-Khafid (الخافض) The Abaser
23 Ar-Rafi (الرافع) The Exalter
24 Al-Mu’izz (المعز) The Bestower of Honors
25 Al-Mudhill (المذل) The Humiliator
26 As-Sami (السميع) The Hearer of All
27 Al-Basir (البصير) The Seer of All
28 Al-Hakam (الحكم) The Judge
29 Al-`Adl (العدل) The Just
30 Al-Latif (اللطيف) The Subtle One
31 Al-Khabir (الخبير) The All-Aware
32 Al-Halim (الحليم) The Forbearing
33 Al-Azim (العظيم) The Magnificent
34 Al-Ghafur (الغفور) The Forgiver and Hider of Faults
35 Ash-Shakur (الشكور) The Rewarder of Thankfulness
36 Al-Ali (العلى) The Highest
37 Al-Kabir (الكبير) The Greatest
38 Al-Hafiz (الحفيظ) The Preserver
39 Al-Muqit (المقيت) The Nourisher
40 Al-Hasib (الحسيب) The Accounter
41 Al-Jalil (الجليل) The Mighty
42 Al-Karim (الكريم) The Generous
43 Ar-Raqib (الرقيب) The Watchful One
44 Al-Mujib (المجيب) The Responder to Prayer
45 Al-Wasi (الواسع) The All-Comprehending
46 Al-Hakim (الحكيم) The Perfectly Wise
47 Al-Wadud (الودود) The Loving One
48 Al-Majid (المجيد) The Majestic One
49 Al-Ba’ith (الباعث) The Resurrector
50 Ash-Shahid (الشهيد) The Witness
51 Al-Haqq (الحق) The Truth
52 Al-Wakil (الوكيل) The Trustee
53 Al-Qawiyy (القوى) The Possessor of All Strength
54 Al-Matin (المتين) The Forceful One
55 Al-Waliyy (الولى) The Governor
56 Al-Hamid (الحميد) The Praised One
57 Al-Muhsi (المحصى) The Appraiser
58 Al-Mubdi’ (المبدئ) The Originator
59 Al-Mu’id (المعيد) The Restorer
60 Al-Muhyi (المحيى) The Giver of Life
61 Al-Mumit (المميت) The Taker of Life
62 Al-Hayy (الحي) The Ever Living One
63 Al-Qayyum (القيوم) The Self-Existing One
64 Al-Wajid (الواجد) The Finder
65 Al-Majid (الماجد) The Glorious
66 Al-Wahid (الواحد) The Unique, The Single
67 Al-Ahad (الاحد) The One, The Indivisible
68 As-Samad (الصمد) The Satisfier of All Needs
69 Al-Qadir (القادر) The All Powerful
70 Al-Muqtadir (المقتدر) The Creator of All Power
71 Al-Muqaddim (المقدم) The Expediter
72 Al-Mu’akhkhir (المؤخر) The Delayer
73 Al-Awwal (الأول) The First
74 Al-Akhir (الأخر) The Last
75 Az-Zahir (الظاهر) The Manifest One
76 Al-Batin (الباطن) The Hidden One
77 Al-Wali (الوالي) The Protecting Friend
78 Al-Muta’ali (المتعالي) The Supreme One
79 Al-Barr (البر) The Doer of Good
80 At-Tawwab (التواب) The Guide to Repentance
81 Al-Muntaqim (المنتقم) The Avenger
82 Al-‘Afuww (العفو) The Forgiver
83 Ar-Ra’uf (الرؤوف) The Clement
84 Malik-al-Mulk (مالك الملك) The Owner of All
85 Dhu-al-Jalal wa-al-Ikram (ذو الجلال و الإكرام) The Lord of Majesty and Bounty
86 Al-Muqsit (المقسط) The Equitable One
87 Al-Jami’ (الجامع) The Gatherer
88 Al-Ghani (الغنى) The Rich One
89 Al-Mughni (المغنى) The Enricher
90 Al-Mani'(المانع) The Preventer of Harm
91 Ad-Darr (الضار) The Creator of The Harmful
92 An-Nafi’ (النافع) The Creator of Good
93 An-Nur (النور) The Light
94 Al-Hadi (الهادي) The Guide
95 Al-Badi (البديع) The Originator
96 Al-Baqi (الباقي) The Everlasting One
97 Al-Warith (الوارث) The Inheritor of All
98 Ar-Rashid (الرشيد) The Righteous Teacher
99 As-Sabur (الصبور) The Patient One
*Please note: After Fajr prayers the MYF will close. *No one is allowed to stay in the Mosque after Fajr.
Please join us at the MYF and bring your family and friends. Also please invite your non-Muslims friends so they can witness the unity and peace in this beloved month that is upon us. Our doors are open for the entire community!