A different kind of Ramadhan
By Saada Hassan
| April 24th 2020
Ramadhan is a time to fast, reconnect with your maker and unite as a family.
Traditionally, this period is marked with night prayers and a lot of cooking to share with the community.
2020 is a different year and Ramadhan hits differently – dusk-to-dawn curfew, no congregations in mosques and the worst part, inviting friends and family is a risky affair especially with asymptomatic virus carriers within our midst.
A walk to Luckysummer mosque in Ruaraka constituency on a Friday is a lonely one.
No friends to walk with and no Muslim brothers or sisters along the road leading to the place of worship.
At the gate, a small poster written in black "Mosque closed following government directive, please pray at home" welcomes you.
The area is deserted, no Muslim faithful around to observe the Friday prayer and worse, today like all Fridays since the government directive to ban congregations was put in place, there will be no congregational prayer or the Jamaa prayer.
This particular Friday is important in all aspects especially because it marks the first day of Ramadan or for some who have not started their fast today , the first Friday that welcomes the month of Ramadan.
The Imam of this mosque has not abandoned this holy place.
Ibrahim Hussein sticks around, performs the call to prayer as per its timing, despite the fact that no one is allowed to enter the mosque.
"It is quite unfortunate that this directive came now that Ramadan is here with us, but we have to put in mind that this disease is serious and if the government has said no congregations will take place we have to abide,” Hussein says.
According to scripture from the Quran, a prayer performed in congregation is much better than the one performed alone.
Hussein added that tough times have hurt cultural and religious practices.
"As for the night prayers known as Tarawih, Muslims can pray from home. Let not the fact that you can no longer perform prayers from the mosque discourage you from fulfilling the additional prayers," he said.
A few metres from the mosque resides a trader who is still in operation but has observed the guidelines stipulated by the Ministry of Health.
Trader Amina Rashid said, "I am not motivated at all because we need to see a reduction in the cases so that we can tell we are progressing.”
As Muslims around the world observe the 30 days mandatory fasting, it brings a new challenge of deviating from the norm to new practices.
On the positive side it creates more time for family to perform prayers, especially the night prayers, as well as providing an opportunity to reconnect spiritually without outside interference.
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