Ramadan: Nicola Sturgeon wishes Scotland's Muslim community 'a very happy Ramadan'
Nicola Sturgeon has released a message to the Muslim community in Scotland, and across the world, wishing them “a very happy Ramadan”.
Ramadan began last night, April 12 and – lasting for 30 days – is due to finish on May 12.
With today being the first full day of Ramadan 2021, the First Minister has taken the opportunity to issue a message of support: “To all in the Muslim community in Scotland and around the world, I wish you a very happy Ramadan.
"Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and it is a time which is traditionally observed through fasting, prayer and contemplation, and spending time with friends and family.
“I recognise though that this year’s Ramadan will be exceptionally difficult for so many of you. It will be really tough not to be able to host people in your home or visit friends and family.
“Even though many of you will not be able to gather in your local mosque as you would normally, I hope the relaxations on communal worship can provide at least some comfort to you.
“The past year has been incredibly difficult for all of us and the time for prayer and reflection you have will provide an opportunity to remember those we have tragically lost to this dreadful virus.
“I hope you have still been able to connect with your loved ones, friends and community throughout the past year using video and telephone calls and perhaps even letters.
“One thing that the pandemic has highlighted and will continue to highlight is the incredible commitment to charity and neighbourhood spirit that characterises our Muslim community - whether that is providing food parcels or going for shopping for the most vulnerable in our society, or offering your places of worship to be used for Covid-19 testing and vaccination.
“It is through that community spirit that we have been able to vaccinate so many adults in Scotland already, a great tool in our armoury against Covid-19. I would urge anyone who is offered the vaccine to please take it.
“That hope that is presented by our vaccine rollout means that you can now look forward to marking Ramadan more normally in future.
“However, let me wish all of you Ramadan Mubarak.”