Muslim charity workers across Dundee are still striving to help out the city’s most vulnerable, despite fasting for up to 20 hours of every day during Ramadan.The fast, which lasts from May 17 to June 16, sees Muslims abstaining from food and drink — including water — from sunrise to sunset.It also requires participants to refrain from any and all sinful deeds. Muslims believe the ritual brings greater understanding of the suffering of others as well as increasing closeness to God.Despite the challenge, Muslims actually try to increase the amount of charitable work in their communities during the month-long period.
Those at community outreach programme Taught by Muhammad (TBM) have even been cooking meals for hundreds of those in need, while refraining from eating or drinking themselves.In one day alone last week, the group cooked 60 meals and distributed them to three homeless shelters across the city.Rizwan Rafik of TBM, said although it was a “very hard” task, nothing would stop the charity’s army of volunteers.He said: “Your belly might be rumbling here and there but the amazing thing is the desire to help others.“There were around a dozen young guys that came in last week to help out at our curry kitchens when we cook and serve meals for the homeless.
“I have to take my hat off to every single one of them. They were brilliant. They really wanted to do it because of Ramadan but it is really hard work.“You’re having to chop, prepare, and cook everything just as quickly as normal and in the space of an hour and a half. It’s really fast-paced and all-the-while they are fasting.“It’s important to also note that actually the vast majority of people who help out are non-Muslim and of course we appreciate everything that all our volunteers do.”
Shoaib Khan, president of the city’s Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, added that Ramadan only strengthens the desire to help others.He said: “The main thing is try to understand what it is like for those who cannot eat for sometimes weeks.“We try to do more charity work during Ramadan because you get more reward from it during this month.”Meanwhile, the Chicken Club on Lochee High Street is set to give away free meals to the takeaway’s first 25 customers as part of the Eid al-Fitr celebration of the end of Ramadan.