It was a great turnout as we joined them and over twenty others to share an iftaar (breaking fast) hike in the stunning area of Glenridding in the Lake District.
There were many opportunities for open conversations, learning and sharing, as well as meditation, prayer, an iftaar ritual and a delicious feast to round off the day.
The meditation session was a particularly poignant moment for everyone there. It gave all an opportunity to reflect and relax. Those praying were able to perform their prayers outdoors, and for non Muslims it was an opportunity to see how Muslims connect with nature through prayers.
“As a Muslim woman, I’d never been on a hike with people that looked like me in the lakes. It felt empowering and I felt represented. Sharing stories and experiences but also listening to the amazing work that is being done by so many people from all over the UK in order to challenge and break the bias” Anti Racist Cumbria member and trustee Zainab Houghton (@zainab_in_the_lakes)
This event was a fitting moment as it was exactly 12 months ago to the day since we held a special online event highlighting Black and Brown faces in outdoor spaces. From online discussions with @the_hillwalking_hijabi, @steppers_uk, @blacktrailrunners, @mrsgowherescotland, and @birdgirluk, last year, to a real life event this year which embraces our Lake District landscape and the Muslim faith. The conversations in 2021 showed that people who aren’t White or are from visibly minoritised backgrounds still face overt racism when enjoying the outdoors and that there also still remains the systemically racist barriers to accessing outdoors in the first place. The conversations were rich and enlightening.
Amira’s event illuminated this further, bringing people together in real life to better understand Ramadhan. This day offered a unique insight to those who may not know about the significance and importance of this practice.
“As Muslims, we believe it is very important to connect with other faiths /religions and communities. Our faith teaches us to welcome all backgrounds and encourage integration. Therefore this will be a great opportunity for us to show how Muslims observe our faith and connect with other faiths and backgrounds.” Amira Patel (@Amira_TheWanderlust)
This matters so much here because you would be forgiven for thinking that Cumbria and the Lake District is to be enjoyed ‘a certain way’, it’s all we are ever really shown! That’s why events like this are important, to remind us that all people connect with nature and that there is more than one way to enjoy the landscape.
We give thanks to Amira and the Wanderlust Women for their generosity, time and education. Thank you for sharing how you embrace your Muslim faith in nature and for providing a space for Muslims and non-Muslims to come together in this beautiful place we call home.
If you’d like to read more about Ramadhan you can head over to our article by Zainab, here.