Kirkcaldy's Muslim community prepares to mark the end of Ramadan
Kirkcaldy’s Muslim community is set to celebrate the end of Ramadan as they wait for a sighting of the new moon to mark the end of a month of fasting.
Ramadan is where Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours - they abstain from eating, drinking for the duration of their fast. Young children, pregnant women, the old, the sick and travellers are exempt.
They also take part in spiritual devotional acts such as prayer, giving to charity and strengthening family ties.
Muslims are also encouraged to share their food with friends, family and neighbours, and to reach out to those who may be fasting alone, to share their Ramadan experiences.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Kirkcaldy’s Muslim community had to adapt to adapt to a new socially-distanced Ramadan, with online community meals at sunset called iftars.
Imam Mansoor Mahmood said: “The month of Ramadan is the most sacred month of the Islamic Calendar as it teaches Muslims self-control, patience, and to be charitable to the less fortunate.
“The Qur'an was revealed in Ramadan, so Muslims use this month to reconnect with it.
“Ramadan is a time to be with family and friends, which was not possible this year, but virtual iftars have helped to keep the tradition alive.”
Imam Mansoor adds that each Islamic month lasts for 29 or 30 days, and because the Islamic Calendar is lunar this means that sighting the new moon for the next will take place after the 29th day has passed.
"This year, the sighting will take place on Wednesday, 12th of May,” he added. “It is not possible to sight the moon in the UK without a telescope, so the sighting of the closest Muslim country is taken – for the UK, this is either Morocco or South Africa.
“The mosque plays a vital role in Ramadan by hosting daily prayers and community iftar meals with each family hosting the community every day.
"We could not hold iftars at the mosque this year because of social distancing rules, but we were able to conduct prayers by following the two meter rule between each worshipper and keeping the prayer service as concise as possible.”