In an age of virtual classes and digital communal
gatherings, Muslim community members are forced to face the reality of planning
for a socially-distant Ramadan.
The month of April will be an interesting time for members
of the three main Abrahamic faiths; Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, as each
faith is working on ways to address their major upcoming religious holidays.
Easter is scheduled for April 12th for Christians, Passover is beginning on April 8th, and Ramadan is projected to begin on April 23rd, God willing.
During this time of coronavirus trial and challenge, worshippers from all faiths are struggling to identify ways to maintain the community and uphold the spiritual principles of their faith.
According to media reports, stay-at-home orders will likely
continue to remain in place for at least 30 days, which will directly impact
communal activities and practices typically practiced during these three
upcoming major Abrahamic holidays.
Ramadan serves as an anchor for Muslims who may typically feel isolated from the mosque to engage in communal iftar feasts and taraweeh prayers with other community members.
Although the spiritual essence of Ramadan is very personal
for each and every believer, new Muslim converts will experience Ramadan in a
very different way and may be in need of support to navigate the typical
challenges of fasting for the first time.
“Just as the youth retreated to the Cave, Musa retreated for
forty nights, the Virgin Mary retreated to the East, and Prophet Muhammad
retreated to the Cave of Hira, we too should take this Ramadan to distant
ourselves physically and look inward and receive inspiration just as the
Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation in the cave during Ramadan,”
Imam Hamza Abdul-Malik shared in an exclusive statement to AboutIslam.net.
Imam Rashad Abdur-Rahmaan from Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam
shared a similar opinion.
“In general, our intention, upon entering the month of Ramadan, should be the same as any other year, as we should intend to fast, perform our Taraweeh prayer, complete our reading of the Qur’an, increase in acts of worship, and grow closer to our Lord,” he told AboutIslam.net.
“In particular, in light of current world circumstances, I think the Muslim community in America and the world over should set their hearts to deep searching. This is a unique time and in many ways unprecedented.
“One of the disciplines of Ramadan is that we surrender our whole self to Allah SWT, which includes surrendering our comforts, our habits, and even our expectations. The promise of such surrender is closeness to Him,” he added.
Although we are living in unprecedented times and navigating
through uncharted territories, Muslims are forging forward with plans to uphold
the fundamental principles of Ramadan, while maintaining their commitment to
social distance and public health.
The believer understands that everything Allah decrees,
whether in ease or hardship, will be good for him. If he experiences ease, he
remains grateful and is rewarded. If he experiences hardship, he remains
patient and is rewarded.
Suhaib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings
be upon him, said: