IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Finsbury Park mosque is locked down in Ramadan

Families urged to stay at home to avoid spreading coronavirus during holy month of fasting in daylight hours

24 April, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Mohammed Kozbar: ‘It is very emotional and very difficult for the Muslim community as, I am sure, it is also difficult for other faith communities as well to see their places of worship empty and silent’

THE general secretary of the Finsbury Park Mosque says he is heartbroken to see the building empty during Ramadan, but that worshippers should resist the temptation to break their fast with extended family during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mohammed Kozbar, who is also a trustee at the Seven Sisters Road mosque, told the Tribune the month would be very difficult this year as it is the first time worshippers have not been able to gather.

Usually around 2,000 people attend Finsbury Park Mosque to pray every day as they fast in daylight hours during the holy period which began yesterday (Thursday).

Mr Kozbar said: “It’s usually a lively atmosphere during the month of Ramadan. But I went to the mosque and it was really empty and silent. It was heart-breaking for me to see the mosque in that way, especially during Ramadan.

“It is very emotional and very difficult for the Muslim community as, I am sure, it is also difficult for other faith communities as well to see their places of worship empty and silent.”

The end of Ramadan is usually marked by a huge street feast in Finsbury Park, but the mosque has now confirmed that this will not now go ahead as the govern­ment has announced that the lockdown measures will be reviewed in three weeks’ time.

Traditionally Ramadan is a time for Muslim families and friends to visit each other’s homes to break their fast during the evening.

Mr Kozbar added: “We advise everybody to stay home and break their fast there, be on the safe side and make sure the virus does not spread.”

In previous years, around 300 people have attended the Finsbury Park Mosque to break their daily fast.

Mr Kozbar said: “I am worried for these people. A lot of them have difficulties with money and will struggle to eat during this time.

“We are trying to work out a way we can help.”

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