Assalamu alaikum,

As Muslims across the United Kingdom and the wider Commonwealth begin a period of fasting and prayer at the start of Ramadan, my wife joins me in taking this opportunity to convey our warmest good wishes to all those observing this month.

Ramadan provides time to reflect on one’s own blessings and to give gratitude for them. One of the greatest ways of showing gratitude in Islam, I understand, is by being of service to those less fortunate in our society. The generosity of spirit and kind-hearted hospitality of Muslims does not cease to astound me and I am sure that as we enter more uncertain times, with many now struggling to cope with increasing challenges, the Muslim community will again be a source of immense charitable giving this Ramadan.

There is much we can all learn from the spirit of Ramadan – not only the generosity, but also abstention, gratefulness and togetherness in prayer which will give great comfort to many across the world during this blessed month.

I pray that all Muslims have a blessed Ramadan. Ramadan Mubarak.