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.
For Ramadan 2015, as our act of charity (zakat) we supported two wonderful charities – Magic Breakfast in the UK, and The Akshaya Patra Foundation in India. At Diwali the same year, we made this partnership permanent. For every meal we serve, we donate a meal to a child who would otherwise go hungry. A meal for a meal. Since then, thanks to your kind support, we have donated over 12 million meals to children in the UK and India! We are beyond grateful to you all, dear patrons, and to our brilliantly big-hearted team.
We are privileged to continue to work with our long-term charity partners. During this holy month, we will be supporting The Akshaya Patra Foundation’s work in Ukraine where they’re providing emergency food relief at the border. We will be doubling our meal for a meal commitment with them to support this vital endeavour. Should you wish to donate and support them across both countries, kindly visit their website here.
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.
So – wishing you all Ramadan Mubarak! May your prayers and fasts be accepted.
The sun is momentarily out again. Calendars are fast filling up. There’s many a thing to do and many a friend to meet. And if we may kindly add to the excitement and the plan-making, here’s our list of what we’re looking forward to in September.
While we were at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we caught Evening Conversations, an engaging show by Sudha Bhuchar. We caught up with her after the show to talk about her journey and her views on South Asian representation on screen, which you can read below. And for those who didn’t walk down the cobbled streets of the city or stumble into an impromptu performance this year, we highly recommend it for 2024.
Each year as August dawns, the streets and rooms and corners of Edinburgh fill with music, art, laughter and song. Wander into grand halls and pokey pubs, as the morning sun rises or in the dark of night, to see creations of every kind as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In honour of this wonderful celebration of the performing arts (and as a little treat), here’s a special edition Dishoom Loves, covering all the acts we’ve circled on our festival programme.
For anyone looking to learn or read more on Partition, this page holds a series of resources, for all ages, created by people knowledgeable and knowing about such matters. It is by no means definitive – we have simply found them to be useful, inspiring and accessible.