As you read this, there are many homes that have nothing to eat nor do they have what to prepare for Ramadan with – and Ramadan begins in a few days. The few ones who have money cannot go to the market to buy foodstuffs due to the lockdown which no one except Allah can tell when exactly it will be over. Do we tell them to cook the money as food? Do we tell the government to relax the curfew to allow them prepare for the month of fasting knowing fully the consequences of such action especially now that the COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our dear country?
To worsen the challenge, some dishonest Nigerian traders have also taken advantage of our present predicament to inflate prices of the foodstuffs even when they’re not certain about whether or not customers will come to patronise them. How does one get to Mile 12, Eko Idumota or Ojuwoye in Mushin to buy goods when the lockdown prevents free human and vehicular movement and activities?
Even the proverbial cheerful givers among us i.e the wealthy Muslims are also lamenting that the “no work, no money” will surely affect their yearly Ramadan charity which had over the years served as succour for many homes. Would they still put smiles on the faces of the vulnerable this year? Would there still be free iftar (breaking of fast meals), which many of them sponsor at various mosques? We hope so and will indeed know so in a couple of days.
Meanwhile, for the first time, mosques (big or small ones) will be deserted. There will be no compulsory prayers in congregations and tarawiih in the several mosques. There also will be no tafsir (exegesis of the Qur’an) sessions except for those who have money to buy data and watch via their devices online. There will be no itikaf, (seclusion in the mosque – full or partial) during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Lastly, there will be no Eid Ul Fitr gathering to celebrating the end of the fast!
Evidently, this year’s #Ramadan2020 is going to be unusual and unique for all of us. Yet, our faith in Allah must not waver for fear of hunger or pandemic. We must put our reliance on Allah, because He is the only one who feeds and cares. It is high time we prepared our mind and declared our intention to fast for either 29 or 30 days during the blessed month. The little provisions should be managed. Those who have, should give those who do not have since Ramadan itself is a month of fasting and giving. If Allah wills, the pandemic will be tamed before the end of Ramadan. May Allah in His infinite mercy count us among the faithful who will start and end the fast in good health and strong faith. Ameen
Rasheed Abubakar, publisher, Muslim News Nigeria | Wednesday, April 22, 2020
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