Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims, in which they fast during daylight hours, congregate for prayers and share meals as a community. However this year, the Coronavirus pandemic brought the wold particularly the Muslim countries a compulsion to close the mosques and ask people to pray at home in addition to imposing ‘lockdown’ to limit the spread of the deadly virus.
Millions of Muslims around the world have found different ways to celebrate Ramadan this year, as restrictions imposed by countries to curb the spread of the Coronavirus have closed mosques and banned gatherings.
One group of top Muslim scholars and religious leaders have also jointly issued guidelines for how the community should navigate this Ramadan, which has upended centuries of tradition. They have appealed to Muslims to focus on understanding the Holy Quran, pray at home and avoid gatherings for Sheri (Sahur) and ‘Iftar’ and other daily activities. They asked the community to perform all prayers, including the Ramadan-prayers such as Taraweeh, at home. Nevertheless, in Pakistan, pandemic or no pandemic, hard-line clerics are calling the shots, overriding the government’s nationwide virus lockdown, which began late last month.
Most clerics complied with the shutdown when it was announced. But some of the most influential ones immediately called on worshipers to attend Friday prayers in even greater numbers’
The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised using virtual alternatives, where possible, for social and religious gatherings. Month-long Ramadan bazaars with stalls selling food, drinks and clothes, usually busy sites, are not allowed in Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore.
Ramadan will bring about a visible change in the lifestyle of Muslims as they go without food and water during the day and perform Taraweeh (prayer).
Most temporal activities, including marriages, are generally avoided during Ramadan. Instead, Muslims engage themselves in activities meant for spiritual satisfaction during this month.
We should pray and reciting Quran in this holy month and try to protect and save ourselves and others from the novel Coronavirus, it is a responsibility of each and every individual to stop spreading this disease by staying home.