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Good Morning Ramadan!

Good Morning Ramadan!

Issue 2 Nov / Dec 2003

First initiated in the Leeds/Bradford area in 1995-6, Radio Ramadan was brought to Birmingham and Glasgow the following year, and by 2002 the Radio Authority was licensing 26 ‘short term restricted licences’ for Ramadan. The Radio has now become a regular feature of the Muslim community scene in all major towns and cities. A novelty when still in its early stages, Radio Ramadan is now an established institution in many local British Muslim communities.

Na’eem Raza of Glasgow’s Radio Ramadan considers the impact that the Radio has had to be “phenomenal.” Lubna Ashraf of Birmingham’s Radio Ramadan agrees. “After our stunning popularity in our first couple of years, we found that the two main local Asian channels began to broadcast Ramadan programmes, in an effort to win back listeners.”

Radio Ramadan stations are largely run by volunteers from a variety of backgrounds – students to IT consultants, civil servants to full-time mothers. The entire community is involved, and schedules aim to reflect this. From children’s programmes, discussions, news, breakfast and latenight shows, to community language programmes, Islamic Q&A, and even Qur’an recitation through the night, Radio Ramadan has managed to cater for the extremely diverse mix that constitutes British Muslims.

Almost all Ramadan radio stations run ongoing charity appeals, raising money for local causes as well as for relief work abroad. This is all part of the wider role that the radio plays in uniting the community and encouraging its listeners to reflect upon Islamic values during and beyond Ramadan. Although there are certainly many common elements between the various stations that are run throughout the UK, it is interesting to note  how each one can also be distinguished by its own specific features. One such example is Radio Ummah in Forest Gate, London. This is the world’s first live Islamic internet radio station, broadcasting throughout the year over the internet, but also on commercial radio during Ramadan.

Those familiar with community work will know that funding is often a serious hindrance to the progress of many an ambitious project. With Radio Ramadan, this is surprisingly not the case. On the contrary, a huge amount of interest has been generated, and radios carry advertisements from the local council, the police, corner shops, halal butchers, to mention just a few.

Despite running for eight consecutive years now, Raza rejects the suggestion that enthusiasm for Radio Ramadan might be waning “Not at all. As long as we are constantly evolving and developing the service we provide – the interest just grows.” Lubna Ashraf agrees “In fact I feel that our expertise and professionalism just gets better every year, and this allows us to improve and to grow.”

Running the radio is a challenge and those involved find that it is a constant preoccupation throughout the holy month. But is it rewarding? “Yes definitely,” replies Na’eem Raza. “The radio has encouraged countless people in their fast and provided general information on Islam. It brings the community together and gives people the chance to experience active Islam on a first hand basis. It has really changed lives. Some stories we knew already, others we may never ever hear about.”

Zahid Amin is founder and director of He is an IT training consultant by profession and a member of the Islamic Society of Britain.

“Radioummah was established in 1998 in the back of a sweetshop in Forest Gate, London. It later moved to the basement of a hairstylist’s until we recently set up our own studio,” says Zahid. “I keep track of the day-to-day running of the operation. My main function is finance and sourcing new shows and contents.”

Zahid considers his biggest inspiration in running the radio to be the Qur’anic verse: ‘Who is better in speech than one who calls people to Allah?’(41:33). He was compelled to persevere with in response to the extreme anti-Muslim bias displayed by news and media outlets nationwide, “the experience of watching five minutes of FOX news and listening to one minute of Talksport.”

Out of a team of more than fifty members, Radioummah has only one paid full time employee, with all the others working in their spare time. Despite this, Zahid and his team have high ambitions, aiming to make the premier live Muslim internet radio station and to become the first full time UK Muslim radio station.

Asked what he most values in Radioummah, Zahid points to “the wonderful, selfless people I have met, they ask for nothing - only the chance to help their community. It is a pleasure to be in their company and to work with them. Working on the radio for the past five years has certainly given me a new lease of life!”


If you want to get involved with, email


Would you like to set up your own Radio Ramadan station?

Here are some useful tips:

Gather like-minded people.

Raise funds. Approximately £10-15,000 per year.

Apply to the Radio Authority

Involve and cater for the whole community. Be ground-breaking and adventurous, but bear in mind sensitivities. 

Bring in fresh voices, programmes and perspectives.


Town/City Frequency

Birmingham Radio Ramadhan 87.7 FM

Blackburn Radio Ramadhan 106.0 FM

Bolton Radio Ramadan 87.7 FM

Bradford Ramadan Radio 87.7 FM

Derby Radio Ikhlas 87.9 FM

Dudley Radio Ramadan 103.6 FM

Dundee Ramadhan Radio 87.9 FM

Forest Gate Radio Ummah 87.7 FM

Glasgow Radio Ramadhan 105.4 FM

Huddersfield Radio Ramadan 107.2 FM

Keighley Ramzan FM Keighley 107.2 FM

Leeds Radio Azaan 87.9 FM

Leicester Ramadhan FM 106.6 FM

Luton Radio Ramadhan - Luton 87.9 FM

Manchester Radio Ramadan 106.6 FM

Middlesbrough Tees Fast FM 107.1 FM

Nelson Fast FM 107.0 FM

Newcastle Fast FM 87.9 FM

Oldham Mashal Radio 106.2 FM

Oxford Awaaz 87.7 FM

Peterborough Radio Ramadhan 87.7 FM

Rochdale Crescent Radio 107.8 FM

Sheffield Fast FM 106.6 FM

Stoke-on-TrentRadio 87.9 FM

Sutton Radio Ramadan Sutton 87.9 FM

Whitechapel Ramadan Special 101.4 FM

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1 Comment


1 Feb 13, 08:54

We have a lot more (free) help on advice on how to
set up a legal Radio Ramadan station in the UK on our
website here:

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