+Some Of The Activities That Will Be Affected
Fasting during the daylight hours of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is compulsory as all healthy adult Muslims are required to abstain from food and drink. Through this temporary deprivation, they renew their awareness of and gratitude for everything God has provided in their lives—including the Qur’an, which was first revealed during this month. During Ramadan, they share the hunger and thirst of the needy as a reminder of the religious duty to help those less fortunate. Coronavirus disease pandemic is going to affect the observation of this year’s Ramadan in so many ways. The lockdown on the movement of people and social distancing has created a lot of restrictions on people’s ways of doing things because of the way it spreads. Majorly it spread when you shake hands with infected persons or coming in close contact with someone with the index case. It affects humans when the droplets find its way into either mouth, nose, or eyes. It will migrate to the lungs where it will wreak havoc. This pandemic is seriously affecting the whole world and it will in no doubt affect the way Muslims all over the world will relate during Ramadan. Normally, there are a lot of activities which do take place during Ramadan which are encouraged to be done congregationally. The followings are some of the activities that will be affected while observing Ramadan this year
(1) DAILY PRAYER
Muslims pray five times a day: at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and after dark. Muslims are encouraged to pray in congregation at any location where a leader in prayer (imam) guides the congregation or individually in a mosque. Men also gather in the mosque for the noonday prayer on Friday – Jummat. For Jummat prayer, women are welcome but not obliged to participate. After the prayer, a sermon focuses on a passage from the Qur’an, followed by prayers by the imam and a discussion of a particular religious’ topic. With Covid-19 pandemic, Muslims all over the world have been advised to avoid gathering such that could lead to contact and touching which have been reported as the easiest means of spreading the virus.
A Quranic tafsir is usually a gathering of Muslims where attempts are been made to provide elucidation, explanation, interpretation, context or commentary for clear understanding and conviction of God’s will. Principally, a tafsir deals with the issues of linguistics, jurisprudence, and theology in terms of perspective and approach. It’s usually organized during Ramadan and Muslimfaithfuls are enjoined to attend because of the multiple rewards therein. With Covid 19 crisis, this kind of gathering cannot be organized. You can only read the Quran individually at home with your family but certainly not in congregation.
This is the evening meal Muslims take to break their fast at the time of the call to prayer in the evening. It’s usually a light food or fruits. This is their second meal of the day and its always encouraged to be taken in the company of other Muslims who may not have gotten what to break their fast with. This sharing of foods during Iftar among Muslims will not be taking place as they will be observing lockdown order to prevent the spread of Covid 19. According to Islamic authority, Muslims shall avoid gatherings, because they are the main cause of the spread of infection and shall remember that preserving the lives of people is a great act that brings them closer to God
This is the prayer usually performed after performing the Ishaiprayers and the time is extended till the end of the night. It’s usually done in the congregation so that the reward can be in multiple folds. All these will not be possible because of the fear of spreading the coronavirus.
(5) EID PRAYER
These are also known as Salat al-Eid which are the special prayers offered to commemorate two Islamic festivals traditionally in an open space or allocated field available for prayer. The two festivals on which these prayers are conducted in large congregations are during the completion of Ramadan known as Eid el Fitri and Eidel Kabir which is the second day of climbing Mount Arafat. Eid-el Fitri prayer will not be observed congregationally due to covid 19 pandemic for fear of spreading the virus this year.
Almsgiving to the needy- Zakat is not just a fundamental pillar of Islam; it is also a potential way of easing the suffering of millions of people through a sustained charitable effort.Unlike sporadic donations to charity, zakat is a sustained payment calculated based on the payer’s income using a percentage similar to a tax.In accordance with Islamic law, Muslims donate a fixed portion of their income to community members in need. Many rulers and wealthy Muslims build mosques, drinking fountains, hospitals, schools, and other institutions both as a religious duty and to secure the blessings associated with a charity. A lot of businesses have been affected by the covid19 crisis which will, in turn, affect the way the zakat will be given out to the needy
(7) TAHAJJUD PRAYER
Also known as the night prayer, is a voluntary prayer performed by Muslims. It is not one of the five obligatory prayers required of all Muslims, although Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was recorded as performing the tahajjud prayer regularly himself and encouraging his companions too. During Ramadan, Muslims temporarily relocate to the mosques for regular tahajjud prayers but this could not be possible due to Covid 19 pandemic.
8) Umrah- is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be undertaken at any time of the year, in contrast to the $ajj which has specific dates according to the Islamic lunar calendar. Umrah requires Muslims to perform two key rituals, Tawaf and Sa’i. Tawaf is circling round the Kaaba. Umrah is sometimes considered the lesser pilgrimage, in that it is not compulsory, but is still highly recommended. Muslims are enjoined to go for Umrah because of the rewards during Ramadan but due to covid 19, it will not be possible.