Cllr Peter Moss will be taking part in the 18-hour abstinence from food and drink on Wednesday in an attempt to raise funds for NHS charities. It is part of a wider initiative launched by Lancashire’s Saffron Group business network.
Cllr Moss says that he hopes his involvement will also act as “a small gesture of support” for those from the Muslim faith – including friends, colleagues and his own son-in-law – who are bound by the strict fasting observance for an entire month around this time of year.
Throughout Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat or drink during daylight hours – meaning that they usually have to fast from around 3am until after 9pm.
“It’s a very small sacrifice for me, compared to others – especially as I’m working from home at the moment and not having to go into the town hall. There are so many others from the Muslim community who will be out at work all day, many of them within the NHS,” Cllr Moss said.
“So I thought it was a good opportunity to show them some support and raise some money at the same time.”
Cllr Moss says that he does not intend to get up in the early hours of the morning to eat immediately before his fast begins.
But fellow cabinet member and practising Muslim Nweeda Kahn says that might be a bad idea.
“I’m really proud of Cllr Moss for doing this – but my advice to him would certainly be to make sure he gets some water and something nutritious like porridge before he begins his fast,” said Cllr Khan.
“I know what to expect every year when I fast, but it still takes a few days for your body to adapt, so it’s important to have something to sustain you throughout the day.”
Although Cllr Moss is approaching the fast from a standpoint of charity and solidarity – rather than devotion to the Muslim faith – Cllr Khan says that there are parallels between his reasons for taking part in the observance and the basis on which Muslims around the world do the same.
“Throughout the days of Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to donate to charity and do good deeds – and Cllr Moss is doing both. He will be conducting himself just as Muslims do during their fasting – and so I think that there will be a real spiritual connection.”
Although social distancing has scuppered Cllr Khan’s initial intention to invite her colleague to break the fast with her family at the end of the day, Cllr Moss might want to check his doorstep for a home-cooked delivery after dark.
If you would like to donate, visit justgiving.com and search for “Saffron Group’s I Will Fast for One Day”.