# 23Apr

A Guide to Ramadan in London

The month of Ramadan is marked by Muslims all over the world, but this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the observance will be very different to the norm. Find out what London usually has to offer during Ramadan, the Eid-al-Fitr festival at the end of the fasting period, and what Ramadan in London 2020 looks like.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim calendar, and is a time when Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. Ramadan commemorates when Allah gave the first chapters of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammed.

In addition to fasting, throughout Ramadan, Muslims must devote time to prayer and spiritual reflection, as well as spending time with loved ones and doing charitable or selfless work.

Ramadan ends when the next new moon is seen. This is when the three-day festival of Eid-al-Fitr begins. Eid-al-Fitr is a big celebration in the Muslim faith, and friends and family gather to feast together. Children are often given presents, and collective thanks and prayer to Allah is offered.

When is Ramadan in London?

In 2020, Ramadan begins on April 23rd and ends on Saturday 23rd May. However, these dates are somewhat flexible, and depend on the sighting of the new moon because of the Lunar Calendar used in Islam.

Before the coronavirus pandemic spread across the UK, the East London Mosque released a timetable detailing the dates and times for congregational prayers throughout the month.

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Ce soir j'ai envie de parler de mosquée et partager avec vous 2 mosquées qui nous à énormément marqué pas par leur beauté ou architecture mais par les émotions qu'on a pu ressentir en rentrant dedans. Pour Mummy C la mosquée qui restera gravée dans sa mémoire est celle de East London en Angleterre. C'est la 1ère mosquée que j'ai fréquenté lors de mon cheminement religieux, c'est la 1ère mosquée où j'ai prier l'Aid el fitr quand j'ai décidé de me voiler. J'avais prévenu le travaille que si l'Aid étaient confirmé je viendrais après la prière chose qui ne pose aucunement problème la bas. Moi qui n'aime pas me rendre seule à la mosquée ce jour la je l'ai fais seule car ma cousine qui devait me rejoindre est arriver en retard mais du coup ça m'a été plus que bénéfique car j'ai pu vraiment profiter du moment sans avoir quelqu'un avec qui parler en attendant la prière et juste à observer le monde j'avais les larmes aux yeux et je peux vous dire que l'apaisement que j'ai ressenti m'a entièrement convaincu de mon choix et de mon envie de me rapprocher d'Allah ta'ala. Pour Daddy D il s'agit de la mosquée de Médine bien plus que celle de la Mecque. Je ne serais expliquer pourquoi mais c'est la mosquée dans laquelle je me sentais le plus apaisé et en connection avec Allah azawajal. Elle fait partie des 3 mosquées sacrées donc je pense que le fait de le savoir ça avait déjà un impact sur moi et donc rentrer à l'intérieur et pouvoir prier sur la place Ar Rawda en sachant ce que ça représente et la difficulté d'y accéder je ne pourrais jamais oublier ce moment. Et vous dans quelle mosquée vous êtes vous le plus senti bien, je ne parle pas de la plus belle des mosquées mais vraiment celles où vos émotions étaient les plus fortes et pourquoi?

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2020 Ramadan Calendar London

Congregational Prayer

Because Ramadan is considered a time for devotion and prayer to Allah, many Muslims choose to attend the mosque for prayer more often than they might ordinarily.


In addition to the mandatory five times of prayer each day, known as Salat, during Ramadan some Muslims add an additional prayer – Tarawih – which is said at night.

Laylat al-Quadr and I’tikaf

The 27th day of Ramadan is known as Laylat al-Quadr. This is considered to be the most holy night during the month, because it is when Allah spoke to the Prophet. To ensure attendance at the mosque on this night, many Muslims choose to observe I’tikaf during the last week or so of Ramadan. I’tikaf is when Muslims stay in a mosque in isolation for a period of days.

Ramadan Prayers in 2020

While many Muslims would choose to attend a mosque to take part in these congregational prayers, sadly, 2020 Ramadan in London will likely make this impossible. On 18th March 2020, the London Central Mosque and the East London Mosque announced their closure for the foreseeable future, owing to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus throughout the country. The call to prayer will still be announced, meaning that those living or working in the vicinity can hear and observe this.

While the current lockdown and social distancing measures will be reconsidered and potentially altered over the coming weeks and months, it looks as though mosques and other communal places of worship will stay closed for a significant length of time. This means that throughout Ramadan, Muslims will need to offer their prayers to Allah from within their own homes.

Eid al-Fitr Gatherings

To celebrate the end of the fasting period, many Muslim friends, families and communities host large parties, during which there is plenty of food to feast on, music, dancing, gift-giving, and praise to Allah.

Eid al-Fitr in Trafalgar Square

One of the largest annual celebrations at the end of Ramadan in London is usually the gathering in Trafalgar Square. While the event celebrates the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, it is open to all members of the public regardless of their faith. At the event you would find a huge array of international cuisine, family activities, music, and other live performances on stage.

Eid al-Fitr in 2020

In 2020, Eid al-Fitr is set to begin on the 23rd May. Sadly, this year’s Trafalgar Square event has been cancelled, as have/will any other social gatherings that celebrate the end of Ramadan. The current, strict governmental policies surrounding social distancing mean that Muslims can only spend this time with those already living in their household.

While this will likely come as sad news for many of those who look forward to these large annual parties, because one of the components of Ramadan is to spend time with loved ones, celebrating Eid al-Fitr with only immediate family can be embraced.

It is thought that many Muslim communities will host delayed Eid al-Fitr celebrations, after the coronavirus limitations have been lifted - whether this be a few weeks after May 23rd, or indeed a few months.