Ramadan 2020 will certainly go down in history. For the first time, during this holy month, we can no longer open our homes, families can’t come together in quite the same way, and pilgrimages can’t be embarked on.
Ramadan is about faith, prayer, fasting, reflection, and community. It is the most important month in the Muslim calendar and holds significant meaning for all those who celebrate it. It’s such a vital part of the year that its personal and spiritual significance cannot be overstated.
Ramadan is characterised by the generosity that is shared, with many gathering to break fast and inviting guests over for iftar. During Ramadan 2020, these practices are unsafe and instead, we have had to turn inwards, to our homes and ourselves, to mark this holy month.
In spite of these circumstances, however, Muslims around the world haven’t let COVID-19 get them down. Ramadan 2020 may have us all confined to our homes, but this has become an opportunity for a display of faith, a time for spiritual growth, and the creation of a community that embraces the true significance of Ramadan, even in the face of adversity
Despite social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantine, the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture has brought with it a reminder of the unity of the human spirit. While abiding by social distancing guidelines, Muslims have taken to virtual gatherings to celebrate together as a community – staying together while staying apart.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation, and Muslims are teaching the world right now how to keep our spirits up and find inner peace and spiritual growth while demonstrating that the strength of a community is not limited by physical barriers.
Whether this means decorating their homes, digital gifting, connecting to the extended family through video conferencing, virtual iftars or participating in the many virtual spaces created by Islamic institutions and foundations, this has become a time to reaffirm faith and maintain a positive perspective.
While Ramadan 2020 is challenging the many personal traditions that have been established over time, being safe at home is paramount given the current health risks. One thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that while these disruptions have been inconvenient, heart-wrenching, and difficult to reconcile with, especially in times of celebration and during community events such as Ramadan, the repercussions of the alternative are much worse.
Generosity and community have been redefined, as the best way to serve each other and action good deeds has been to keep our distance; a personal sacrifice we’ve seen during this time.
May the social distancing of Ramadan 2020 turn into a time of inner peace and contentment for everyone, the world over. Eid Mubarak and Happy Ramadan to all those celebrating!