Ramadan: Muslims begin observing the holy month amidst lockdowns

The Muslim communities around the world as from this Friday, April 24, 2020 begin observing a thirty-day fasting period amidst the fast spreading Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19.

     2019 Ramanda

The beginning of the holy month of the Ramadan comes despite measures aimed at limiting social contact to avoid the spread of the killer Coronavirus.

Some Muslim countries in the world have seemingly relaxed lockdowns and curfews in restaurants, markets, malls and some public spaces due to the Ramadan month.

In Cameroon, the Council of Imams and Muslim Dignitaries have pleaded with followers of prophet Mohammed to strictly observe and respect the measures introduced by the government of Cameroon to roll back the spread of the COVID-19.

A month ago, the council temporally suspended group prayers and worships in mosques or spaces reserved for joint prayers.

Accordingly, the prayers and the worship patterns will be altered to limit the number of persons attending worships. Some Muslim faithfuls will therefore, have to pray at home nationwide as an alternative.

In reference to the rules dished out by the Council of Imams and Muslim Dignitaries, the faithful will be educated in local languages like Hausa and Fulfude on the need to be socially responsibile and fight against the COVID-19 during the period.

On his part, the General Coordinator of the Council of Imams and Muslim Dignitaries in Cameroon, Dr Musa Oumarou has cautioned the entire congregation of Islamic believers to use the one-month period to pray to Allah to wipe out the pandemic in Cameroon and the world.

A Muslim faithful, Abbas Mohamadou thinks the one-month fasting comes in a special context of the COVID-19 and will alter the celebrations of the feast of the Ramadan this time.

To him, the congregational and special prayers during this period of Ramadan will not take place due to the social distancing phenomenon prescribed by the WHO.

Another Muslim, Nuhu Sali decries the communal life of the Muslims that will be interrupted due to the pandemic. The believer of Islam said the period in the past was special as Muslims will eat as a family or community.

Ali Mohammed, says he will use the period to intensify his spiritual preparations by talking less and praying more, desist from sexual activities, stop visiting places and doing things that are not edifying to Allah.

It is a rather unfortunate situation, as Muslim faithfuls used to breakfast in the mosques but now the COVID-19 has forcefully caused them to stay at home to worship and pray.

The month of Ramadan, to Muslims is a period of intense prayers and a time to detach from worldly pleasures and focus on Allah.

Benly Anchunda

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