Barts Health NHS Trust has joined forces with local Muslim religious leaders to encourage residents to have a healthy and safe Ramadan.

Barts Health NHS Trust has joined forces with local Muslim religious leaders to encourage residents to have a healthy and safe Ramadan.

This year, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar started on or close to 15 May and will last until around 14 June.

During that period, adults are required to fast from dawn to sunset, but those in poor health or who have deteriorating conditions, such as the very elderly and mothers who are breastfeeding, are exempt from doing so.

Imam Faruq Siddiqi, Muslim chaplain at Barts Health, explained that although the practice forms one of the five pillars of  Islam, fasting should not be completed by everyone.

“Although everyone will want to fast, patients who suffer from any chronic illness or health complication should consult their health professional prior to fasting, to see if they can do so safely during Ramadan.

“Remember that Islam enables you to avoid fasting if your health is likely to deteriorate and it will be un-Islamic to make your health worse due to fasting.”

Professor Tahseen Chowdhury, consultant diabetologist at Barts Health, and Imam Siddiqi have already spoken out at an awareness event as part of the trust’s aim to encourage people to follow the tradition safely.

Meanwhile, ongoing educational sessions are providing people with support and advice, including how to change medication times to match fasting hours.

In addition, Muslim chaplains have been providing educational sessions to help staff deliver appropriate advice to patients.

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