Loyal friends from the Mirfield Free Grammar showed their support for a pal by joining in with a day of fasting during Ramadan.
Elliot Smith, Charlie Wood, Will Horkan, Charlie Hill, Alex Walker, Taylor Brame and Harry Dudding decided to go without food or liquid during daylight after seeing Umair Pathan start to lose his motivation during the Islamic holy period.
The boys fasted from waking up until 9pm – when they all met up and ordered a takeaway pizza feast.
Umair Pathan said: “When I first heard my friends say ‘We’re going to fast with you tomorrow Umair’, I was quite shocked and couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“They explained to me that they felt guilty for eating whilst I was fasting, so they decided to join me. I just agreed, thinking that they were just joking.
“The next day at break time I asked them if they were getting some food from Take 5 and they all replied ‘no, we’re fasting’. That is when I realised that they were not joking the day before, they were being serious.
“A rush of pride and joy filled my heart and I thought to myself ‘how lucky am I to have friends like these?’.”
“Throughout the day, they complained and moaned and whinged about being thirsty and hungry but all of them soldiered on.
“I couldn’t have better friends who would do something like this for me.”
The boys said they wanted to show respect for Umair’s beliefs.
They added: “Umair has continued to fast and we all have total respect for him and anyone else who is fasting right now. We managed a day which was hard enough for us! This experience has made us realise how hard it must be to fast every day during Ramadan and so we are supporting Umair as much as we can.”
Millions of Muslims around the world finish their fasting for the the month of Ramadan this weekend. Communities will now mark its end and celebrate the festival of Eid-al-Fitr with friends and family.
Eid-al-Fitr, celebrated by millions worldwide, signals the end of Ramadan – the holiest month in the Islamic year.
After morning prayers and breakfast, those celebrating the festival wear their best clothes (which are often new) and gather for their first daylight meal in a month. Muslims give thanks for the food they are able to celebrate with and express gratitude for having had the strength to complete their fast.
Presents are often exchanged during events, and people decorate their homes. It was expected the festival would be celebrated either today or tomorrow.
The Reporter want to know what you and your community are doing to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr. We would love to hear your stories and publish your pictures of the festival. Send your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org