On the 9th month of the Muslim calendar, is the month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. Every year for 29 to 30 days, Muslims all around the world would practice the art of fasting as a commemoration to the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W as it is seen as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Many Muslims look forward to this time of the month as it is a time of cleansing and forgiveness, a test of resiliency and patience. However, it seems that this year's Ramadhan will be completely different to what we all have experienced over the course of our lives. Why is that? Mainly it is because of the current pandemic that is occurring to this date, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of you may know what COVID-19 is and what it has done so far that changed so many people's livelihood, and it is no surprise that this pandemic will affect the upcoming Ramadhan month. However, many Muslims understand that this is a test on how we as humans can overcome this by adapting to changes, both culturally and religiously. Here is what we know to what the Muslim communities are doing to adapt to the lifestyle changes of this pandemic so far:-
Online Bazaar Ramadhans
Image Credits: Digital News Asia
With the new announcement of no bazaar Ramadhans this year by our Senior Minister (Defense) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Malaysians are devastated with the news as all Malaysians are not able to enjoy the wonders of experiencing of going to a bazaar and buying different types of foods to break their fasts or to simply have dinner with their friends and family. However, although we are not able to experience going to a bazaar due to the Restriction Movement Order (RMO), vendors have looked into alternatives to still be active in the community to advertise their business via Facebook groups, Instagram pages, Whatsapp groups and even Telegram groups! That way, Malaysians are still able to enjoy the food that is usually cooked in bazaars and have it delivered straight to their doorsteps without having to break any of the RMO rules! A quick search on all these platforms will lead you to the appropriate sources.
Tahlils and Terawihs
Image Credits: fotoBernama (2016)
From a religious aspect, many Muslims that looks forward to the fasting month would also look forward to participating in tahlils and terawihs that are being hosted either in local mosques or from our next-door neighbours. Tahlils and terawihs are known to be not compulsory to attend but it adds a nice plus point to your own karma to gather, pray and enjoy the company of the Muslim community. However, due to the RMO, all terawihs and tahlils has been cancelled so that the people would avoid contact from one another due to the COVID-19 spread. Many Muslims in the community are sad and disheartened with the news. Although we are not able to visit our local mosques or gather with our neighbours to perform tahlils or terawihs, it does not stop many Muslims to initiate their own terawihs from the comforts of their own home. Many ustads have advised the leader of the family or any present males in a family to host a terawih for their own family members, keeping the numbers short and minimizing contact with other people outside of their homes. That way, many Muslims are able to fulfill their religious duties without having to risk their own health.
Image Credits: Kaedah Haraki FB
It is no surprise that with the current RMO, many of us have resorted to do things more digitally, whether if its participating in class, having meetings or even shopping, everything is all online now and participating in religious classes is an exception as well. With the amount of time freedom that many people have, some people are breaking out of their comfort zones to participate in online classes to learn more from their ustads and ustazahs. With the help of Facebook, many Muslim users are more active staying online to participate in these classes and still enhancing their knowledge and curating their spiritual growth.
What are your thoughts on the current changes? Are you able to adapt well? Leave your comments in the comment section below and let us know your thoughts! We wish you all a happy Ramadhan and stay safe!