“This year will be especially tough. Because of the lunar calendar, Ramazan moves back by 12 days each year and we’re now at the peak of long summer days,” he wrote in an article for the Guardian.
“It makes a big difference when someone spends just a minute to see how you’re doing. I’ve had friends fast through solidarity – they don’t always make it through the whole day, but it’s a kind gesture.”
The Labour politician says he wants to use Ramazan to reduce suspicions surrounding Islam as he prepares for his month of fasting for the first time as Mayor of London.
He insisted that he didnt want to be defined solely as a Muslim but as a Londoner as well.
“I don’t call myself a Muslim politician; I’m not a Muslim spokesperson or leader, and it’s important to clarify that because otherwise you’re defined solely by your faith. We all have multiple identities – I’m a Londoner, a son and a father – and City Hall isn’t a pulpit,” he said.
He said he would be hosting the traditional Ramazan meals around the city at synagogues, churches and mosques throughout the month.
The meals, known as iftar, are large dinners where Muslims break their fast together after nightfall.
Mr Khan, who was MP for Tooting for 11 years before becoming mayor, praised the multiculturalism and diversity of modern Britain, saying everything had changed from when he was growing up in the 70s and 80s and would constantly have to explain why he wasn’t eating.
He said: “Now, in a cosmopolitan city such as London, where for 1,000 years there has been an open exchange of trade, ideas, people and culture, most people know someone – perhaps at work or through friends – who will be spending this month fasting. Ask them how they are!