Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam. It is the month when the faithful fast from sunrise to sunset. It was also during Ramadan, that the sacred book of Islam, the ‘Quran’ was revealed. The month is a time of celebration and charity. People spend time with their family and loved ones and pray for the needy and poor. It is said that during the month of Ramadan the gates of heaven open while the gates of hell are closed and all devils are chained. The end of the Holy Month of Ramadan is marked by Eid al-Fitr.
As the world continues to struggle with the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important that everyone follows the path of God to the divine way of peace and welfare.
While charity has always been an essential part of Islam, the current situation stresses more on the need to feed the unlucky. Millions of people around the world have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Several workers have lost their jobs and this plight is now affecting their bread and butter. ‘Zakat’ is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is the practice of donating to the poor and needy. UAE has always been a step ahead in humanitarian and charitable initiatives. The country has launched ‘10 million meals’ program under which free meals and food parcels will be given out to the underprivileged who lost their livelihood due to COVID-19.
This year’s Ramadan will be different, as people who used to go out shopping will stay back at home for a safer tomorrow. Authorities in UAE have asked people to abstain from visiting markets until extremely important and to shop online to reduce physical contact with people.
Dubai has eased restrictions for citizens from 24 April 2020. People can now move without a permit from 6 am to 10 pm. However, malls, supermarkets and other establishments will be welcoming only 30 percent of their general capacity at a time. People will have to follow some given preventive measures under the eased restrictions.
While most countries are under lockdowns or similar measures, some have opened their markets for the festival season. Shoppers can enjoy their ordinary lifestyle in such places but they should exercise extreme caution. Maintaining social distance and wearing a face mask could help contain the spread of COVID-19.
While the inability to eat and pray together may be intensely felt, this year, many people will break their fast in isolation. Ramadan is a time to bond with families and loved one, for people who are at home with their families it will be a new bonding phase when no one leaves home and you only pray to god for the betterment of society. People who live away from their families, alone, might feel the pain of loneliness as most nations have banned mass gatherings. Many mosques will be quiet and lonely for the first time in living history.
During fasting hours, people of every religion are prohibited from eating or drinking in public in UAE. However, some exemptions are given to children, people with health issues, and pregnant women. Listening to music and smoking in public spaces is also not allowed during the holy month. People who want to eat or drink (even water) during the daytime shall ensure they are away from the people who are fasting. The key here is to be discreet, if noticed by someone, a person can be arrested in UAE.
Normally, people visit their families and loved ones for Eid al-Fitr but due to Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s celebration will be completely different. Meetings will turn into video calls and gifts could become digital gift vouchers as people stay at home. Many groups have already called for digital iftaar meets and an online Eid al-Fitr could soon become reality.
Coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay at home. As millions of faithful people celebrated the Holy Month of Ramadan, it is essential that others show them respect and love. COVID-19 has claimed thousands of lives and peace, patience, and tolerance can help humans get on par from the effect of this catastrophe.