Coronavirus pandemic has changed everything including the Holy month of Ramadan with global lockdown and Mosque closures in 2020. This has certainly impacted the near two billion followers of Islam as the pandemic left a feeling of sadness because of the inability unable to go to pray in the Mosques, unable to have the communal events of serving sunset meals (Iftar), be able to perform late prayers in the evening known as ( Taraweeh) or Joy of the Heart prayer) among a long list of social events. Kids did not have a chance to celebrate the Holy month or (Eid) Feast that commemorates the end of Ramadan Holidays and was replaced by drive thought events with kids remain in the cars and get a gift or a balloon rather the traditional carnivals with ongoing celebrations for 3 days. Many Muslims felt isolated, saddened, unable to travel during Ramadan to perform a mini-pilgrimage called (Ummra) in Makka, Saudi Arabia, or go anywhere to visit family and friends during this special holiday!
That is why everyone wanted to get rid of those sad memories and replace them with hope and optimism as everyone can not wait for Ramadan to arrive!.
Ramadan is fast approaching but not fast enough for many as Ramadan is expected to start around April 13/14th. Muslims dream about witnessing Ramadan again and feel the awesome experience once more in their lifetime. Yes, there has been good news with the slow gradual return of people to be able to pray in the Mosques while wearing masks, observe social distancing, use hand sanitizers, temperature checks and take full precautions. Now, also more and more people are getting COVID-19 Vaccination and feel optimistic about making up for the lost Ramadan season in 2020. There have been longing for all Ramadan activities to resume with so much charity, reaching out to the poor and needy in the community to deliver life-sustaining meals and food assistance to all mankind without exception as this reflects the spirit of Ramadan. Fasting from sunrise to sunset is a strong reminder of what less fortunate people go through all year round. Ramadan teaches humility, patience, and honesty as God Almighty is watching us 24/7.
Ramadan is a great opportunity to get rid of bad habits like smoking, overeating, backbiting, and arguing. Ramadan brings humanity together to make a better world where we can help each other. Fasting softens the hearts of people to forgive, make reconciliation and reflect on life events. Ramadan is a strong reminder of being focused on doing good deeds which are rewarded without limits!
This is the second Ramadan season during the pandemic which teaches us not to take anything for granted and always be grateful for the opportunity that God Almighty for allowing us to pray, reflect and give thanks to our Creator.
Ramadan is the month of redemption and sacrifice to serve a fellow human being in need. Ramadan brings opportunities for extra prayers seeking God’s forgiveness, blessings, and mercy to alleviate the suffering of all mankind. Ramadan teaches us to take care of family, friends, neighbors, and community needs as we are all in this pandemic together. Muslims hear the global cry for help and they do whatever they can to help very quietly.
Ramadan is the time for spiritual renewal promoting total wellness and encourages to join in doing good deeds. Children are encouraged to fast starting at seven years of age for few hours and increase gradually over time as they will remember to do the same with their children when they grow up having unforgettable memories of the magic of Ramadan.
There are only two meals in Ramadan, a pre-dawn meal called ( Suhur) tanking up on water, thirst quenchers like yogurt, cucumber, dates, and the second meal called ( Iftar) at sunset being served all over the globe. When you meet someone observing Ramadan, please, show understanding about not being able to eat or drink during the period from sunrise to sunset daily, but allowed after that. You can say, Happy Ramadan or Ramadan Mubarak ( i.e Blessed Ramadan) as a nice and kind gesture to promote peace, friendship, and harmony locally and globally.
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