LONDON: The Prince of Wales has wished Muslims in the United Kingdom and across the world a heartful Ramadan on Friday.
In a pre-recorded video broadcast, Prince Charles, 71, said that he was left “utterly heartbroken” by the “tragic story” of the 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab who died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
The message was shared in a virtual Iftar organised by the NAZ Legacy Foundation and Mosaic, an initiative founded by The Prince of Wales in 2007 and now part of The Prince’s Trust.
“In different circumstances, this would have been a joyous time of year mosques would be filling with life, families would be coming together to share food and prayers and many of them would be inviting their neighbors and friends, from all faiths and none, to join them,” the heir to the British throne said.
“I can only begin to imagine how desperately difficult and sad this must be for all of you who cherish this special month and everything it normally brings,” he said.
Frontline of COVID crisis
“What has moved me greatly has been hearing all the brilliant work carried out by Muslim volunteers and local initiatives through mosques including working in partnership with temples, churches and other faith groups to support all members of all communities in such a difficult times.”
Prince Charles said: “Many British Muslims will spend this Ramadan on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis, working in our NHS or other key roles, most tragically I know that a number of highly experienced and invaluable doctors and nurses form the Muslim community have lost their lives due to this pernicious virus. To their families and colleagues, I can only convey my deepest possible sympathy, and to everyone on the frontline of whatever religions, I offer my profound admiration and heartfelt gratitude for all that they are doing for all of us.”
Muslims around the world began marking Ramadan under coronavirus lockdown on Friday with unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers, while a pushback in some countries has sparked fears of a surge in infections.
Widespread rules have been imposed banning praying in mosques or meeting relatives and friends for large “iftar” meals at dusk — a centrepiece of the month-long fast.