As the Holy month of Ramadan approaches, our level of enthusiasm may be low this time compared to the usual Ramadan, due to the COVID-19.
Rabi’ah.M discusses the struggle, positivity and how we can keep ourselves motivated during this tough time.”
As Muslims, the Holy month of Ramadan is supposed to be a sacred time for one to reflect, improve and seek forgiveness. It is spiritual cleansing and fosters the concept of Muslim brother and sisterhood.
In normal circumstances, one would look forward to the coming of Ramadan, organise their time around ibadah, prepare the delicious dishes and go to the mosque for Taraweeh prayers. This year, however, Ramadan will be exceptional due to the COVID-19 virus, which has not only created an ambiance of an unseen fear, anxiety it physically hinders us from conducting our Ramadan activities. It will be a challenging Ramadan due to the uncertainties it carries. One does not know when we will be able to go out again to attend the local mosque since a ban has been implemented because of the dangers of the virus.
I personally believe that this is an excellent opportunity for one to make the most of this challenging time. For example, one of my friends told me that her 16-year-old and 9-year-old would take turns to lead prayers at home. The objective is to make the experience memorable and fun. She has also ordered Ramadan decorations which will make it exciting, and probably give a feel of the Ramadan spirit. According to Yasmeena, she would like to increase her time worshipping.
As for Mansour, he would spend more time at home and do better, as he explains: “I would pray more Sunnah and read more Quran. You know you can do charity work even online these days. In a way it is like Itikaf, but rather than spending time at the mosque, you would do that at home.”
For students, this year will mean spending more time indoors and balancing their education with fasting, as described by Shahrbano: “Since we are locked in our houses, I believe we will get more time for ibadat and prayers. I will not have time to waste because I will be studying for my exams, since they are online.”
There is a variety of ideas that can make this year’s Ramadan interesting. Whether it’s the Ramadan decorations, praying at home together, spending more time on ibadah or checking on your friends, family, and colleagues. We must also remember the long list of delicious food dishes which one will savour by the end of the day. In a way, this Ramadan will bring people together, fostering community spirit, perhaps going back to basics and reflecting inwardly more.
I believe that instead of letting all the negative news and devastating hike of death and plague figures caused due to COVID-19 demoralise us, we need to exercise firm belief that as Muslims we are expected to have that trust in Almighty Allah; to know this is a tough time but that it will not last. Essentially, our anticipations should rest on becoming better Muslims and diverting all our prayers and ibadaah towards seeking forgiveness and praying for a miracle which will put an end to this nightmare we are all experiencing. Perhaps what binds us is that suffering which is collective and similar.