The month-long period offers a real time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship.
Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam. Observing it involves fasting from dawn to sunset. During this period Muslims are asked to abstain from eating and drinking as well as abstained from sexual relations.
Meanwhile, this year’s Ramadan coincided with the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, which has badly paralyzed and crumbled global economies, ushering in new sets of rules for people to adhere to.
One of such precautionary measures, experts and even the World Health Organisation are advocating for is social distancing and avoid over crowded places.
It is interesting to note that Ramadan is synonymous with group prayers especially at night, with Muslims praying in congregations in mosques. But how would this new measures amid lockdown filtered across Muslim communities around the world?
We want to amplify our call for people to stay at home during the period, as that will play an important part in government’s effort to slow the spread of deadly virus.
Though, the move looks unprecedented, but it is widely agreed that would help control the spread of coronavirus and protect family, friends, the wider community and the most vulnerable.
Also, restricting oneself and loved ones during this holy period will mean adapting usual religious and cultural practices.
We should remember that Ramadan teaches people to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and voluntary charity (zakat).
We would therefore like to extend a special message of love and best wishes to all Muslims in The Gambia and beyond, as we entered one of the holiest months ever.
Let’s advocate this month-long period to seek for Allah’s blessings and adhere to the best teachings of our dear Prophet Muhammad SAW.
“May your Ramadaan be blessed (Ramadaan Mubarak) and May Allah accept your good deeds as sincerely done for Him (Taqabbal Allaahu minnaa wa minkum)”
Dr. Bilal Philips