Ramadan: A time for renewal COMING TOGETHER: Oliver Dowden
THIS week marks the start of Ramadan, a unique and special time for Muslims in Britain and across the world.
It’s a time to reflect on and renew their faith, through devotion and spirituality while fulfilling the five pillars of Islam. The strength of devotion exemplified in fasting as the days grow longer is an inspiration to us all, reminding us of the small acts of selfless service each of us can make.
During this important time of prayer and fasting, the message of Ramadan is one we can all relate to – especially the importance of charity and compassion. These core values at the heart of Islam are the same values that those of all faiths or none can aspire to.
Ramadan represents the true spirit of Islam, as Muslims fast to pray and show their devotion not only to God, but to those in need.
Making these sacrifices throughout the holy month of Ramadan reminds us of the small luxuries we often take for granted. It is a reminder of the admirable devotion the Muslim community gives to its faith.
As chairman of the Conservative Party, I am proud to belong to a party that champions freedom of belief and celebrates people from all faiths and backgrounds. I will fiercely protect our tolerant and open society where everyone can flourish.
As party chairman, a Cabinet minister and Member of Parliament, I see the tremendous contribution that British Muslims make to our country every day; from driving our economic recovery with the thousands of jobs created by the businesses they run to the invaluable support given to those working on the frontline as we tackled Covid.
Time and again, we have seen how Ramadan brings out the best of humanity, from the small acts of kindness to the community spirit mosques are showing in welcoming people of all faiths and none to share in the iftar meal. Something I am looking forward to experiencing in the coming weeks.
As we mark this holy month, we have an opportunity to come together to share our experiences and meet people of all walks of life. At this time of great uncertainty and with the tragic events in Ukraine, never has it been timelier for us to strengthen friendships across communities.
So, with this in mind, it gives me great pleasure in wishing all Muslims here in Britain and across the world, Ramadan Kareem. May Ramadan unite us as we celebrate our shared values and promote peace, reflection and harmony around the world.
Oliver Dowden is CBE MP, chairman of the Conservative Party, and minister without portfolio.