LONDON

More than 3.5 million British Muslims have started fasting as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan started Monday night.

The holy month will be observed during the coronavirus pandemic for the second time, with various restrictions in place.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the UK’s biggest Muslim umbrella group, said in Ramadan guidelines that Muslims should remain precautious against the virus.

According to the guidelines, people should follow sermons, Taraweeh, a special night prayer performed during Ramadan, and other services at home.

The MCB also said people could arrange virtual iftars, fast-breaking meals, with their families.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson marked the start of Ramadan with a message.

“Ramadan Mubarak to all those observing Islam’s holiest month this year,” he said on Twitter.

“I’m afraid that again this year it is necessary to follow the rules to stay safe but I hope this month of fast, prayer and charity brings much peace and reflection to all Muslims.”

The MCB also said vaccination would not affect fasting as Muslims fast during the holly month from sunrise to sunset.

“The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) have consulted a wide range of Islamic scholars and the opinion of the vast majority is that receiving a vaccine does not invalidate your fast,” the MCB said.

The Ramadan will end with Eid-al-Fitr between May 13 and 15.

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