Muslims This Ramadan
To all those who are taking care of themselves and their families and their neighbors during these exceptional circumstances, we say: Thank you
As Muslims fast this Ramadan in the middle of this global Corona virus pandemic, for which so far, God has not revealed a vaccine.
So, people have to keep safe social distance to slow down the virus from spreading, God willing.
In these circumstances, we should give a special attention to the needs of Covid-19 patients and the elderly who could be isolated, when we distribute our sadaqa and our zakah (alms giving); while observing the social distancing measures all the time. For example:
We should avoid crowded gatherings associated with special Ramadan activities like iftar, that is group breakfast after sunset; Taraweeh, that is special prayer after Isha, and Suhur, the early meal before dawn to start the fast.
As for gifts of meals to the needy and the friends, consider using individual pre-packaged boxes of foods, that can be arranged with organizations and institutions, which adhere to proper physical distancing throughout the whole process, from (collecting foods, to packaging, to storing, to distributing, etc).
Ramadan Fast and Your Well-being during Corona pandemic:
No studies so far have shown that fasting poses any risk of COVID-19 infection.
Therefore, healthy Muslims should be able to fast during this Ramadan, as in previous years.
However, COVID-19 patients, may consider Islamic exemption from fasting, by consulting their doctors who are knowledgeable of the Islamic Shari’ah, as they should with any other disease.
Ramadan Fast and Healthy Diet and Nutrition:
As always, we should maintain proper nutrition and hydration, especially during Ramadan fast.
Try to eat a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, and drink plenty of water, every day.
Avoid coffee, tea, carbonated drinks and processed foods; because they can cause dehydration.
Break your fast, immediately after sunset, with 1 or 3 dates and a glass of milk or water, and a bowl of hot soup, if possible.
Eat foods that contain fiber, like whole grain bread and legume, to replace the energy you lost during the day of fasting.
If you eat meat, select a piece that does not contain too much fat; and before you eat chicken remove the skin, and cook the fish well or bake it, or barbeque it.
Try not to over eat at Iftar, breakfast, after sunset, to avoid getting heartburn and weight increase.
Chew the food well, so that it can easily be digested; and prepare your stomach for the Suhur meal, before dawn.
Reduce intake of sweets, salty pickles and spices; because they make you feel thirsty during the day.
Avoid sleeping after breakfast, after sunset. You may relax a little, but don’t fall asleep.
The Suhur Meal:
Eat the Sahaur meal, before dawn. The prophet Muhammad, pbuh, said: the Suhur meal has many benefits and blessings. So, never go without it:
When you eat the Suhur meal, you would not feel undue weakness during the daily work, and you can stand the rigors of fasting.
Even if you don’t feel like eating at Suhur time, try to eat a date and drink a glass of milk or water.
And, as you hasten to break the fast after sunset, try to delay the Suhur meal till just before dawn.
Paying Zakat in Ramadan:
As you care to do your Ramadan fast as good as you can, because God sees every thing you do, try to calculate your Zakat correctly, and pay it promptly; because God knows how much you have, and He knows how much you should pay.
So, do it right. If you don’t know how to calculate your Zakat ask. Zakat is a debt that does not drop even after death.
Ramadan and physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Many people are restricted in their movements because of the COVID19 pandemic; but, if restrictions allow physical activities, you should do your exercise, while practicing physical distancing, and maintain hand hygiene, even during any exercise activity.
And, instead of outdoor physical activities, try indoor physical movements, like performing the five daily Salat prayers by standing, bowing and prostrating, which takes about 25 minutes every day,
Salat benefits are better than 25 minutes of any exercise. Also try walking and stretching, or online physical activity classes, etc.
Ramadan and Mental, Psychosocial and Spiritual Health:
Despite the unusual circumstances we are going through, this year, because of Covid-19 pandemic, we assure you that you still can engage in reflection, meditation, praying, caring, and sharing all these mental and spiritual activities and blessings with others, from a safe healthy distance.
Ramadan and Social Distancing:
Ensure that family and friends, especially the elderly, are included in these activities, while keeping their physical distancing; and the elderly should be encouraged to engage in alternative digital platforms for interaction, and mental exercise.
Ramadan and Spiritual Human Brotherhood:
Ramadan is a precious occasion to offer special prayers and dua’a, supplication, for the sick, along with messages of hope and comfort, while maintaining healthy social distancing.
These are few thoughts to consider in this Ramadan, that came in the middle of a deadly global pandemic, called Corona.
So, let us never stop praying to God to lift this, and any other plague, from our life, by His Grace and His mercy. Amen!
Have a blessed Ramadan every one!!!