Updated: Apr 25
by Safiyyah Ally
Ramadan is just a few days away. Many Muslims look forward to the beginning of this blessed month with great excitement and anticipation. But this Ramadan will be different.
COVID-19 shutdowns and physical distancing measures mean that mosques will remain closed and gatherings will be prohibited.
Perhaps you are thinking about the days to come with a feeling of dread and sadness.
But you should turn that frown upside down, because this Ramadan will surprise you. I am confident that this Ramadan will be a meaningful and spiritually uplifting experience for you.
The core of Ramadan isn’t its social element. It’s about our relationship with God. Ramadan is about the intensification of devotion and worship. It’s about self-discipline and restraint in following God’s commands. It’s about spiritual reflection and self-improvement.
Yes, we may not be able to gather communally. But if we think outside the box, we can still grow spiritually and achieve God-consciousness.
Consider the opportunities available to you.
You have the opportunity to worship on your own, and this may prove to be a deeply rewarding personal experience. Just you and your Creator, one to one. You have the opportunity to read and reflect on the Quran rather than merely listening to it during the congregational night prayers. If you’re with your family, daily family circles where you reflect on the Quran may bring startling insights that you may not have thought about if you had a religious leader telling you how to understand the verses. If you’re craving communal prayer, you have the opportunity to pray the night prayers at home with your family with greater flexibility in terms of timing and your choice of selection of the Quranic verses you will recite. If you’re eager to learn and be inspired by others, you can stream prayers and talks in the comfort of your living room. If you’re looking for social connection, you can set up online iftar gatherings. If you have young children, you have the opportunity to partner with your spouse so that one of you doesn’t bear the burden of household responsibilities alone and both of you can reap the rewards of greater religious devotion.
You can also work to grow together as a family this Ramadan by setting shared goals and striving together towards God.
This Ramadan will shake us out of complacency and challenge us to be creative, adapt, and think of new ways to achieve our goals. May this month of mercy be a means for us to elevate ourselves spiritually and deepen our relationship with the most Merciful. I am looking forward to this Ramadan, and I hope you are too.