Compassion. Generosity. Discipline. Honesty. Selflessness. Tolerance. These principles lie at the heart of Islam. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are bound to give, share and take care of others – whether those joined by family bonds or by friendship, or simply those less fortunate than themselves.
Faith doesn’t just mean believing in God – it means tangible actions and rituals, built around the Five Pillars of Islam. Carrying out these Pillars (Iman, serving god; Salah, prayer five times each day; Sawm, fasting during Ramadan; Hajj, making the pilgrimage to Mecca, and Zakat, charity) is the foundation of each day and is like a compass to guide one through life.
Thus, as a Muslim, charity is not just something to be carried out when the mood strikes you; it really is a lifelong duty. There are even rules on how much each person should donate from their earnings each year. Giving generously and regularly, and offering aid to those less fortunate – both within and outside the community – is part of the essence of Islam.
During Ramadan, this essence is alive more than ever. Alongside the rituals of prayer and fasting, giving is a natural element of this auspicious month. It is a time for sacrifice and self-discipline; and parting with hard-earned money for the benefit of others is a reminder that we are not defined by our possessions, but by our purpose.
Whether you are fasting or whether you are of a different faith, Ramadan is an opportunity to honour the universal values of love, giving and unity. In doing so, we just might remind ourselves that we all have much more in common than we think. In these troubled times of extremist madness and lazy scapegoating, such a celebration of our universal spirit seems good and right.
So – wishing you all Ramadan Mubarak! May your prayers and fasts be accepted.
During Ramadan, the month of giving, we are privileged to be supporting two wonderful charities: Magic Breakfast, in London, and Akshaya Patra, in India. Both charities provide nourishing, free school meals for children who don’t get enough food at home. So, for every guest who eats with us this month, we’ll feed another two in need, meaning every meal we serve equals three full bellies.
Every evening at the time of breaking fast – which falls around 9.20pm – we’ll be serving the traditional dates and refreshing Nimbu Pani to anyone waiting outside for a table, to keep you going until dinner!
We’ll also be holding a special event to celebrate Eid al-Fitr – which marks the end of Ramadan – on Sunday 19th July – details coming soon…
UPDATE – JUNE 2016
Last year, we welcomed 81,034 of you during Ramadan, so we made donations that meant that both charities served the same number of breakfasts or lunches to children who would otherwise go hungry – a total of 162, 068 meals.
After reflecting on these partnerships, we felt inspired to do more. So we committed to provide a meal for a child in need for every guest who dines with us, ongoing. A meal for a meal.
Since last Ramadan we have donated over 800,000 school meals. (And we should hit 1 million meals by August!)
Find out more here.