Overcoming Coronavirus in Ramadan

24th Apr 2020
Overcoming Coronavirus in Ramadan

(Image: Ejup Lila/Pixabay)

Aishah Ali

Millions of Muslims across the world will observe fasting from dawn to dusk this month. During Ramadan, Muslims break fast (ifṭār) together and join in congregational night al-tarāwīḥ prayers. However, due to Coronavirus pandemic, they’ll have to adjust their lifestyle. The Muslim News asked some Muslims about their thoughts on spending their time during Ramadan.

Yaman Swiad from Birmingham

“Ramadan, the month of mercy, is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed. All Muslims around the world spend a whole month of self-improvement, spiritual reflection, and heightened devotion and worship. Muslim families gather around the table to have ifṭār and then head to the mosque for tarāwīḥ prayers. Mosques during this time of the year become overcrowded and Muslims meet up with one another and exchange ‘congrats’. Due to the unprecedented sorrowful circumstances of Covid-19, we will not be able to enjoy the rituals of Ramadan like we did in the previous years.”

Chloe, 26, Wolverhampton

“I am a revert and this will be my eleventh year of fasting. I am kind of used to being alone during Ramadan as I don’t have my family to fast with me, however, I will miss the social iftars with friends and participating in al-tarāwīḥ! I have heard that some groups are setting up virtual iftars with fun activities, recipes and Qur’an recitation that may be interesting! Although the coronavirus situation is a very difficult and challenging time, the time usually spent at work now gives us free time during the day to read the Qur’an, perform extra salah and other good deeds to bring us closer to Allah. Challenging times also remind us of tawakkul (reliance on God alone) and to have ṣabr (patience) as with every hardship comes ease.”

Lubna Malik, 17, Wolverhampton

“Family ifṭār meals full of samosas, kebabs and biryani; praying al-tarāwīḥ at the masjid with friends; the excitement of Eid being around the corner. This is what immediately springs to mind when I think of Ramadan. However, this year will be different due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Mosques are closed, al-tarāwīḥ cancelled and social distancing means no family iftar gatherings. Therefore, it may seem that the entire Ramadan atmosphere which we all look forward to every year has been ruined. However, it is important to maintain a positive mindset in difficult times such as these and focus on the things we can do. For example, as most of us will be at home due to school closures or working from home, we have more flexibility and control over how we choose to structure our day. This will allow me to plan hours for revision for my A-Levels, helping my mum with cooking and extra acts of worship such as Qur’an reading, extra prayers and tafsīr (exegesis of Qur’an) and any other commitments I may have by making a schedule that fits around the Ramadan timings of saḥūr ifṭār and salah, rather than struggling to fit this all in whilst I’m at school. Furthermore, this means catching up on lost sleep due to night-time prayers and saḥūr will be easier. It is also a good reminder that time is a blessing from Allah, and that we should use it wisely in the most productive way possible.”

Sumayyah Khalid, 35, Birmingham

“Ramadan is an important time for us. We look forward to this blessed time, as we increase our worship, give more charity, read the Qur’an and attend the masjid regularly. However, this year due to the social distancing measures we’ll not be able to socialise with family and friends and attend the masjid. I’ll focus on utilising this time as best as I can by performing my prayers and other acts of worship at home. The internet will still allow us to catch up on important Islamic reminders, giving charity and connecting with family. This is a time to strengthen our relationship with our creator and exhort our good efforts which can be achieved no matter where we are. Social distancing will be challenging for many as they live alone or have limited contact with people. I plan to help my elderly neighbours who I know will be fasting by helping them with their shopping and perhaps regular phone conversations to check on them. Ramadan is a time for reflection, discipline and patience, and I hope we can all remain steadfast this year .”

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