Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister
I want to send my very best wishes to everyone observing the holy month of Ramadan.
This is an incredibly special time of year for Muslims at home and abroad: a time for charity, for contemplation and community.
First, charity. This is one of the things that Islam is all about. Here in Britain, Muslims are our biggest donors – they give more to charity than any other faith group. We see this spirit of giving all year round, from the mosques running sports clubs for local children to the Muslim groups selling poppies for Remembrance Day, to those people from around the country who put their wellies on, rolled their sleeves up, and went to help the families hit hardest by this winter’s storms.
Ramadan is a time when that spirit comes to the fore and I am so proud when I hear, every year, about the millions of pounds raised for good causes for those less fortunate than us here in Britain, and those who are suffering in wars and in famines overseas.
Second, Ramadan is a time for contemplation to fast, and to pray, and to think deeply about others.
This Ramadan, I hope that we can reflect upon a key aspect of our shared history the bravery of those who fought and died for our freedoms nearly 100 years ago.
Just days after Eid, we will be marking 100 years since the First World War.
More than a million men and boys from India fought with our troops during that conflict and many thousands of them were Muslims.
They travelled across the world to fight to defend our freedom guided and sustained by their bravery, comradeship, and, above all, by their faith.
Their selflessness and their courage helped to secure the liberties we all enjoy today so this Ramadan – and this centenary – we will remember them and reflect upon their sacrifice.
Third, Ramadan is a time for community.
And there is nothing that exemplifies this more than those nightly iftars when the fast is broken, the dates are opened, and all that great food is served.
Last year I was delighted to see how many community iftars were taking place across the country in mosques and in community centres, in parks and even in tents.
Again this year Government is supporting the Big Iftar programme with hundreds more communities, from Leeds to Luton, Woking to Manchester, throwing open their doors so that people of all faiths and none can break bread and get to know their neighbours.
So wherever you are this holy month, let me wish you, once again, Ramadan Mubarak.
Rt Hon Nick Clegg, MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of Liberal Democrats
If you’re one of the many families fasting from sunrise until sunset, I certainly don’t need to tell you how challenging it is this year with Ramadan falling during our longest days.
I know that for many of you, fasting – as one of the essential pillars of Islam – is a chance to remember the daily struggles of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
For me, it’s that spirit that goes to the heart of what Islam is all about. It’s that profound desire to look after other people. And it’s that sense of doing all you can, collectively and individually, to make the world around you a more prosperous and peaceful place.
So I want to thank you all for the valuable contribution you make, across British society and beyond, both at Ramadan and throughout the whole year.
And to everyone celebrating the festival this month, Ramadan Mubarak.
Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party
Ramadan is a highly significant time for Muslims here in Britain and around the world. During Ramadan, Muslims are committed to periods of intense prayer, reflection on the teachings laid out in the Qu’ran, charity and fasting. It is a time for gathering with friends and family and breaking Iftar with loved ones and sharing Iftar with those less fortunate.
During these long summer days, I understand that the practise of fasting will be challenging but I admire the dedication of Muslims during this month, where religious conviction and working for a more just society are always the priority.
Throughout the course of history, Muslims have made an invaluable contribution to Britain; during the wars, in business, to our economy and to our culture.
The most recent 2011 census recorded that the Muslim population had grown to 2.7 million people, and at Ramadan we celebrate the great contribution that those of Islamic faith make to our cities, and our country. Evidenced for example, by their generosity – recent research published in the Times newspaper saw British Muslims top the poll of religious groups that give to charity. For this, I give thanks to you.
This summer, we are united in our diversity with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Sport is one of the many ways that men and women from different religions, communities and backgrounds come together to participate in the games and to celebrate the achievements of others.
On behalf of the Labour Party, I want to wish the readers of The Muslim News and Muslims across Britain a peaceful Ramadan.
Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP, Shadow Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor and Shadow Minister for London
As we begin the Holy month of Ramadan I would like to send my best wishes to all the readers of The Muslim News and your families during this blessed month.
Ramadan is a special time. As we come together every day for the next month to break the fast, our thoughts will be of faith, families and togetherness. It is also a time to remind ourselves of the values Islam teaches of charity, peace, justice and tolerance.
The practices of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the life he lived were of compassion to others and a concern to wider society. Let the month ahead be an opportunity to re-evaluate our lives to Islamic guidance and strengthen ties with our local communities.
Let us also remember that fasting is one of the best means of building empathy towards those who are less fortunate than ourselves, whether locally with the rise of foodbanks in the UK or further afield such as those in war-torn Syria and other troubled areas around the globe. When it comes to charity, recent independent research confirmed that British Muslims are one of the most generous in the UK, supporting those in need in Britain and across the world. This is something we should to be very proud of and try and maintain.
Ramadan will be a challenge for many in the UK this year, with the hot weather and long summer days, and the support of friends and family will be more important than ever.
As British Muslim communities across the country prepare to fast, I would like to take this opportunity to say may your Ramadan be peaceful and blessed.
Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister of Scotland
May I take this opportunity, on behalf of the people of Scotland, to wish all Muslims – in Scotland and around the world – a joyous and blessed Ramadan.
Ramadan is a period of rigorous fasting and special prayer. It is also a month when family and community relationships can be strengthened, and support is given to those in need. Many of you will mark this month with acts of charity and service to your communities.
So during this special time for the Muslim community, I wish all of you, all the best for the month ahead.
Rt Hon Carwyn Jones, AM, First Minister of Wales
I would like to send my best wishes to all those observing Ramadan both here in Wales and across the world.
In Wales we are proud to celebrate our rich and diverse culture. At this special time communities, families and friends join together in a period of prayer, reflection and contemplation. The values of Ramadan are ones which we all share – the importance of charity, compassion and helping others.
I wish all those observing Ramadan peace and happiness during this holy month and throughout the year.