The holy month of Ramadan is always a time for Muslims to share and care for the ones less fortunate than themselves. Ramadan began April 23rd and ends May 23rd. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. As Covid-19 moves across the globe, it sweeps this holy month also.
This year Ramadan will be immensely challenging and test the people of faith. The Muslim communities of the United States have called for the suspension of mosque congregations and advised people to perform daily prayers at home. It means skipping certain prayers – such as Tarawih, usually prayed in pairs.
These changes are very sad, as Muslim families always look forward to Ramadan. Yet, we all know it will be different this year. There will be no communal Iftar (fast-breaking) dinners with friends and family and no community gathering for Ramadan prayers.
Ramadan Eid ul Fitr (a big festival) at the end of the holy month, which involves praying and celebrating together, will also a challenge we will face as a community. Families, friends, and especially kids, are waiting for this special moment of togetherness. However, at this time, the health of the community must be the first priority.
But it is not only the Muslims whose worship will be affected by Covid-19. People of other faiths are also affected. People of faith have always found different avenues of continuing to follow at times of crisis. Such times can also be a chance to evaluate what is important in life and help other people in whatever way we can, no matter which religion we belong to.
Irrespective of faith, let us all see this crisis for all communities coming together. Whether it’s a neighborhood watch group, small groups of people, volunteers, and contributors reaching out; we all have a responsibility to work together for a solution of empathy, understanding, and humanity.
The holy month of Ramadan is also a month of giving and delivering. So, let us ensure that in this difficult time, we care for all our communities, which bring in our diverse societies together for peace. Let us bring out the best in human nature. Irrespective of religion, let us bring the spirit of Ramadan to consider those in need. Let us all look out for our friends, family, and all vulnerable people at this challenging time so that we can make it through together.
This opinion piece was written and submitted by Dr. Zahida Hassan Pervaiz, PhD. Dr. Pervaiz has a PhD in Biology and is doing research as well as teaching at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. She is married with three children. Her Google scholar profile. Her Researchgate. Her LinkedIn.