CHILDREN as young as six and eight are spending their Ramadan delivering food to elderly, vulnerable and isolated people in inner-city Bradford.

Six-year-old Hazim-Idrees Khan and Khidr Khan, eight, have marked the religious month by supporting people in need in Manningham.

They have been joined by Mohammed Habib, 15, and ten-year-old Ismaeel Hussain, and their selfless work is being done as part of local initiative the Volunteering Interfaith Partnership (VIP).

The VIP has been giving food to people in Bradford since the pandemic started three years ago, and also aims to build bridges between different communities in the city.

“These young people are outstanding. They are going above and beyond to support others, and we thank them for their contributions,” said Dr Javed Bashir, VIP founder.

“It’s very important to be compassionate and to open up communication between our different cultures and faiths.

“We encourage individuals, families, mosques, and community centres to reach out to their neighbours in Ramadan, to join them for an iftar meal and to learn more about each other’s cultures.

“For Muslims, there is a greater need to showcase Ramadan not just as the month of fasting, but as the month of bringing communities together and helping others.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Khidr and Hazim-Idrees, joined by Ismaeel Hussain (far left), give food to a local manKhidr and Hazim-Idrees, joined by Ismaeel Hussain (far left), give food to a local man (Image: Volunteering Interfaith Partnership)

Supporting those in need is particularly important in the current climate, Dr Bashir added.

“The cost of living crisis has brought a lot of hardship,” he said.

“This is a really important time for us all to help one another.

“Ramadan is also a perfect time to break any misconceptions that people may have of the Muslim community.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Muhammed Habib has supported the VIP since he was 12Muhammed Habib has supported the VIP since he was 12 (Image: Volunteering Interfaith Partnership)

Local imam Mohammed Zubair, who is a member of the VIP team, further re-iterated how there is more to Ramadan than just fasting.

“Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims across the world, and is of course very important for Muslims here in Bradford,” he said.

“It is during this month that Muslims not only abstain from food and drink, but also learn the importance of charity.

“Prophet Muhammad had a great amount of compassion for neighbours, and he did not discriminate between his Muslim neighbours and non-Muslim neighbours.

“He spoke to them regularly and exchanged gifts with them, shared meals, and spoke openly.

“The VIP is a perfect way to exemplify the ideals of the month of Ramadan by sharing experience with someone from another faith, particularly during this economic crisis.”