Ramadan in the light of Corona
Muslims have to become torch-bearers of peace and universal fraternity
By: Shafqat Shafi
Ramadan is a welcome gift for all the Muslims throughout the world which gives them the opportunity to perform good deeds and repent for their mistakes. This is the reason that all the true believers desperately wait for this generous month that bestows more than human’s expectation. In fact, Muslims carry out some significant deeds such as fasting (stopping from eating, drinking), from dawn till dusk, try to perform five times Salah (Namaz) on the given time, give alms to needy people to receive countless blessings and grace etc.
In the light of Corona and as responsible citizens of India, it is the duty of all Muslims to help the Government in checking spread of Corona pandemic. Under these special circumstances, Muslims must avoid congregational Tarawih prayers and gatherings like Iftaar parties on large scale, offering Namaz in huge gathering in Mosques. The month of Ramadan 2021 is entirely different from previous ones (except that of 2020) as it is plagued by Corona virus that has engulfed the entire world. Ramadan is an added blessing during the pandemic for Muslims as in this month Muslims are obligated to take care of cleanliness and hygiene like taking bath every day, washing hands, face, legs and ears five times a day and keeping themselves clean during the entire duration of fast. This is surely going to help in containing spread of Corona virus.
Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “Allah said- All the deeds of Adam’s sons (people) are for them, except fasting which is for Me, and I will give the reward for it.” Muslims must focus on getting maximum reward from the almighty in this holy month and avoid roaming unnecessarily in the neighbourhood. Keeping indoors with the intention of doing good deeds will be surely regarded by the almighty God. Although Tarawih prayers (special prayers during Ramadan) are offered in congregation, one must remember that Tarawih prayers are not obligatory and are supplementary in nature. And if someone desires to perform it, he can do it at home with family members or at open space by following social distancing and other Covid safety norms suggested by the administration. God will surely not be happy if Tarawih prayers are performed by risking lives of many with rising Corona cases.
In the light of corona virus, all the true believers are being urged to carry out their religious deeds at home following Covid-19 guidelines to protect themselves and their countrymen from the ongoing plague because the almighty Allah is omnipresent and omniscient who accepts His created one’s call and prayer from hidden spaces, open spaces, home and shelter. Muslims must set an example for the world to follow and contribute to the Government’s efforts in containing spread of the pandemic.
Islam is one of the modern religions that solely is based on logic and reason. Yes, there are fringe elements who, due to their limited knowledge, are doing things that go against the basic spirit of Islam, but majority of the Muslims have understood the message of Islam in letter and spirit.
There are some groups that have exploited the name of the religion for their petty political goals but fortunately, the majority is not accepting their flawed understanding of Islam. In Kashmir, most of the Masjid Committees have publicly announced that people should offer prayers at home in the wake of growing number of Covid-19 positive cases.
The radicals have a flawed understanding of Islam. They are the ones who have abused the term Jihad to further their agenda of hate and violence. However, the majority of Muslims have been rejecting their way of Jihad and even in Kashmir, there are very powerful Muslim voices that speak against the “flawed” interpretation of jihad and are putting forth the “correct” counter-narrative focused on ‘peaceful co-existence’.
In recent past several programmes were held wherein speakers highlighted that Islam does not teach its followers to take lives of fellow humans or bring them any harm; rather it promotes peaceful co-existence of the people, irrespective of religion, creed or caste. Jihad really means fight with one’s inner ills and unfortunately those who use it for killings have failed to understand the content and the context of Holy Quran.
It is duty of the religious scholars and leaders to propagate the correct interpretation of Islamic scriptures and advocate practice of peace, harmony and compassion among the people. In this regard the women’s education is a must so that they can keep their children safe from the radical and extremist ideologies. Madrassa education should be made modern and scientific so that it develops the future generation with a scientific outlook who would understand what fighting against pandemics like Corona means. Vested interests who encouraged the select clerics to peddle wrong interpretations of Islam, which pushed the youth to terror and radicalization should be defeated.
Muslims have to become torch bearers of peace and universal fraternity as Islam’s message is universal in nature. Muslims of yore have contributed greatly to science, mathematics, logic and philosophy. They are to be made role models not the ones with guns in their hands and hatred in their hearts.