Ramadan is one of the most important months for Muslims. However, amid the crisis of COVID-19, will the month remain the same this year? Unfortunately, it will not be.
Normally, in Ramadan Muslims pray in congregation at mosques across the globe. Most of the people spend their time in the house of Allah. Reciting Quran, praying, and asking for the almighty’s mercy and rewards are some of the rituals most of the Muslims do in the holy month.
Significance of Ramadan as per Quran
“O you, who believe. Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious). (Fasting) for a fixed number of days, but if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days.
And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (i.e. an old man, etc.), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a poor person (for every day). But whoever does good of his own accord, it is better for him. And that you fast, it is better for you if only you know.” (Qur’an, 2:183-84)
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).
So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan), he must fast that month, and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number (of days which one did not fast must be made up) from other days.
Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (Qur’an, 2:185)
How COVID19 will affect Ramadan?
The whole world is under lockdown. No one clearly knows when the air of uncertainty will clear. Therefore, we all must expect a different Ramadan this year.
The lockdown and prayers
Sadly, Muslims across the world will be deprived of praying at mosques this year. Prayers in the congregation are banned even in the whole Muslim world. Shops are closed except for medicals and food items. Furthermore, the assemblage of people is strictly forbidden.
There may be no itikaf at mosques
It is very much likely that this year, people will not be allowed to sit in ‘itikaf’ in their local mosques. However, women will be able to continue their ‘itikaf’ prayers as they observe them at their homes. Can the same conditions be for men? Time will tell.
The custom of eating together with friends and family will probably not continue. The exhilaration of watching a sight of the moon and going to meet your relatives for felicitating them about the month will no longer be performed. The shopping for eid will not be the same.
The night of 27th Ramadan
To our utter dismay, the night of blessings, 27th Ramadan, will not be the same. There will not be the lightning, the sermons in the mosques or at homes if the social distancing amid lockdown continues.
As there is a ban on congregational prayers, the practice which evolved in the reign of Hazrat Umar (R.A) may no remain intact. Unfortunately, the special ‘Taraweeh’ evening prayer will not be offered in the mosques
And, did we say that there might be a different Eid this year also. The lethal viral pandemic has altered our lives in a drastic way that no one can predict how the future will be like. With no vaccines and drugs for COVID-19, we must ready for unthinkable impacts.
The only option left for Muslims is to pray at home and seek Allah’s forgiveness. We must ask for Allah’s mercy so that these rough times can pass. Ameen