An Arabic teacher has said Muslims have welcomed the fact that mosques are able to open during Ramadan, unlike in 2020.

Muslims around the country have made it to the middle of the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, with self improvement and high devotion. It has been done a little differently in 2021 as restrictions have finally been eased compared to 2020.

Ramadan, in 2020 began one month after lockdown in the United Kingdom had been in action.

Mosques were closed and people were instructed to stay at home as cases were rising at the time. With the full lockdown restriction, this led many Muslims to not being able to take part in congregational prayers in the mosque nor visit family and friends to come together and break their fasts.

Holding the Islamic holy book: The Quran

Unlike spring 2020, acts of communal worship were allowed throughout the winter break as lockdown was slightly eased at the time, but only with limits on the number of people and social distancing in place.

Mohammed who is a ”Sheikh”,  an Arabic teacher authorised to teach Islamic traditions, said he was ”relieved” that mosques were finally open and that the Muslim community were able to ”really practise the virtues of Ramadan in a mosque”.

He added that “precaution should still be in place” with ”everyone being safe and social distancing”. He said: ”As a Muslim community we have welcomed the fact of being able to perform our duties to the Lord in the mosque.”

Sheikh Mohammed also stated that in the mosques it can get very ”social as people are donating to charity within the charity pots, listening to the imam give the lectures, helping the elderly to their seats in time for praying and saying salaams (which means hello) to each other as it is an important sunnah of the Islamic religion, so having the restrictions will hopefully make things safer until everyone is safe.”

Dua (prayer) being made at the time of sunset

Muslims are finally able to go to the mosque and perform their daily prayers and even the Taraweeh prayers that occur after the break of the fast. Worshippers are told not to share prayer mats like before but instead bring their own prayer mats and have bags for their shoes and that no one under 12 years old should attend the prayer.

In 2021 it is hoped for many that Ramadan will hopefully be the last year that it is in a Covid restriction and 2022 will be the first full covid free Ramadan.

AUDIO: Amina from Cambridge talks about finally being able to spend Ramadan with family

The one negative aspect of Ramadan during the pandemic for Amina from Cambridge was not being able to meet family and friends for Iftar (the meal Muslims break their fasts with at sunset) and praying together only in groups within your circle.

The month of Ramadan is also about sharing and bringing people from their homes and feeding them the breakfast with lots of happiness and laughter together.

Amina said: “Ramadan is such a blessing month you don’t do it alone, you do it with other people as well.”

She added that not only she but the Muslim community ”prays to Allah” that this is the final lockdown Ramadan and by 2022 it can be the first Covid-free Ramadan with no restrictions in place. But that can only happen when the United Kingdom has declared that there is no longer a pandemic within the world and country.

Ramadan started on April 13, 2021 and it is due to end on May 13.