Ramadan is the month in which Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to sunset, refrain from immoral acts and thought, and do better as a Muslim through religious deeds and as a human being through charity towards others.
This holy month is the month we all waited for, as it always comes with many joy and challenges. However, since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, there have been many concerns about how Ramadan is going to be affected since it is mostly centred on group gatherings from tarawih prayers at the mosque, the daily communal iftar, and the large scale Aidilfitri celebration.
The Importance Of Cleanliness
The coronavirus pandemic means health will come first before other things. There will be no iftar celebration nor tarawih where we line up side-by-side with shoulders touching. This time, social distancing and personal hygiene is the priority.
Islam teaches us that cleanliness is half of faith. A verse in the Quran has stated that:
“Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves, and Allah loves those who purify themselves” (9:108)
The Month For Sharing And Letting Go Of Greed
Ramadan is the time to let go of greed. Remember that many are in a difficult situation right now, and some are in a much worse situation than us, so this is the best time to give out charity. If you are not in a position to give this time, do not stockpile when going shopping. Let others buy too; there will be enough for everyone. Another thing you can do is: shop from your local stores as a way to help your community.
Caring For Others — Especially The Less Fortunate
Just like many other fasting months before this, this is the time to focus on caring for others. There are many ways to help others from donating to assisting the vulnerable. You could check on the people that you know too, as some might have lost jobs and feel fearful and anxious living in the current economic situation. And keep in mind that it is also very stressful and tiring for those working on the front lines. Islam teaches us to consider those in need by showing compassion and understanding regardless of faith.
A Whole Month To Reflect
Take this Ramadan to contemplate on our relationship with God and also how our actions have impacted others. Remember that those before us, including Prophet Muhammad (SAW), had gone through hardship, so we are never alone and we have one another. What we can do is put our best effort in social distancing and hygiene practice to flatten the curve as one of our initiatives. Prophet Muhammad had advised a man who did not tie his camel because he trusted in God: “tie the camel first and then trust in God”.
While we still have to stay at home, we get to remove distractions and focus on the true meaning and purpose of Ramadan: our dependence on God for sustenance, feeling compassion for the less fortunate and being more focused on our relationship with God.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (2: 155)