Muslims across Ukraine are facing difficulty in Ramadan this year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to rage, yet many plans to use the charitable season to raise funds to support those in need.
A Crimean Tatar & head of the Muslim League of Ukraine, Niyara Nimatova, “We have to readjust everything.”
On the very first day of the month of Ramadan, which is likely to begin on Saturday, she made a plan to prepare an Iftar evening meal with a group of displaced families who are staying with her in an Islamic center in Chernivtsi.
“Many Muslims went abroad, and those still in Ukraine require support,” Nimatova said from the western Ukrainian city where she has been expelled from the southeastern province of Zaporizhzhia, parts of which are under Russian control.
Since the day Russia called a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, over 10 million people have been forced to leave their homes, including some four million people who have escaped to abroad, as per the United Nations.
As per the data, Muslims make up around one percent of the overall population of Ukraine, a predominantly Ukrainian Orthodox Christian nation by religion. Before the war, Ukraine was house to more than 20,000 Turkish nationals, as well as many of Turkic people, most notably the Crimean Tatars.
Preparations for Ramadan have been both difficult as well as emotional this year as bombs continue to fall on the nation and curfews are in place, restricting movement in the evening when families gather to break the fast. Displaced by war, the majority of them are far from their homes, community support networks, and friends. Yet, they are determined to make the most of the festive period.
Meanwhile, Nimatova said, whose husband is imam, “We have to be ready to do our best to get God’s forgiveness, pray for our families, souls, nation, Ukraine.”