Ramadan can be a challenge for Muslims living with diabetes for whom the medical implications of undertaking a prolonged fast can be serious if not managed well. Of course, this year the health challenge facing us all is extremely serious.
People living with diabetes and thinking of fasting are advised to consult their GP or diabetes nurse - many are offering phone consultations. They will outline the potential risks associated with fasting and may also be able to provide some useful tips on how to manage the condition during Ramadan.
People with diabetes are not obliged to fast and mosques are likely to be offering guidance on alternatives this year.
Roz Rosenblatt, London Head at Diabetes UK said:
"We recognise and respect that this is a very important time. This year in particular we are urging people with diabetes to take care of their health.
Those who do choose to fast need to take particular care as fasting for this length of time will increase the risk of their blood glucose levels, rising or falling - which can be harmful to their health - and of them becoming dehydrated. If you are showing any symptom of Covid-19 the official advice do not fast"
Imam Abdul Qayyum, Head Imam of the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre - the largest Mosque in the country - said:
“Allah says in the Qur’an that He will not place any difficulty on a man more than that person can bear. When it comes to fasting in the month of Ramadan, those whose health might be made worse by fasting, for example, people with diabetes or those struggling with Covid-19 are given the alternative of charitable giving. Allah, through His mercy, allows people to exchange one virtuous deed with another.”
Imam Abdul Qayyum said that those who don’t fast can instead pay fidiyah (compensation) to feed the poor as stated in the Surah Baqarah, verse 183 and should consult their local Mosque for more information.