Abstaining and refraining from things for our own benefit is something that sounds all too familiar in the current climate. With Ramadan now starting, Muslims will be continuing just that; refraining from that which was otherwise permissible, in an effort to keep ourselves secure.
It seems as if the outbreak of Covid-19 and the lockdown that ensued served as a good preparation and training ground for Muslims around the world; to begin their efforts of abstaining from vain pursuits and staying at home, with family, and focus on prayers in this precarious time.
Ahmadi Muslims, through the magnificent tool of MTA, had already been instructed by their Imam, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, to focus on prayers at home during this period of uncertainty, especially bearing in mind that it is not possible to partake in congregational prayers at mosques.
Al Hakam has recently published stories of how Ahmadi Muslims around the world, by the grace of Allah, are benefitting spiritually during the coronavirus lockdown, by studying the Holy Quran, offering prayers as a family and bonding with one another in a manner that was not possible before due to other obligations. Thus, the main difference that Muslims will experience this Ramadan, as compared to the past few weeks, is that of hunger and thirst.
For Muslims, food and drink has now been added to the list from which they must distance themselves. Undoubtedly, this month comes as a mercy as it is a time when the door to God Almighty’s nearness becomes even more accessible. Aside from praying for the global national health services, Muslims will indeed be praying for this pandemic to swiftly come to an end. And what better opportunity than Ramadan to carry out this service for humanity!
However, this time has brought its challenges also. There have been rising cases of anxiety and depression due to the incessant coverage of deaths and new cases of the virus by the media, while at the same time, many have lost dear ones due to this virus and are currently in mourning.
As a result of the lockdown and staying at home, some people are without jobs and consequently, without any financial stability, which has raised questions about the future of such individuals. Domestic abuse cases have also, unfortunately, been on the rise throughout the world as a byproduct of the lockdown measures.
Although the world seems to be drifting away from God, but when push comes to shove, the words “prayer”, “miracle” and “God” still slip from the tongues of many. These words have been used repeatedly by world leaders and influential figures while addressing the uncertain conditions of Covid-19.
During the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims certainly have an obligation; to pray for the world and beseech God’s mercy and forgiveness. As a religion that defines itself on the premise of a Living and All-Hearing God, we have a duty, an obligation that must be carried out more than ever before.
The circumstances that this Ramadan finds us in can enable us to broaden the circle of prayers. The shift of focus from our individual selves to greater family known as mankind is probably the greatest requirement of these uncertain times. Rare have been such times in human history when every single person in every single part of the world is caught up in the same predicament; rare have been times when the pride of science has been shaken so badly; rarer even have there been times when world powers had to admit, before live cameras, that they felt powerless before something invisible.
From superpowers to top ranking scientists, all have repeatedly said that they are having to fight off an “invisible enemy”. Let us pray that humanity as a whole and world leaders can finally remember the long lost “invisible” Friend that they have forsaken for the mere reason that He was invisible to their eyes. Let us pray that the world now finally listens to the call of the Khalifatul Masih and turns to the Omnipotent, Loving and Caring God, Who might be invisible to the worldly eye, but is, at the same time, the most invincible reality of the Universe. May Allah bless this Ramadan for all of mankind! Amin