Ramadan 2020 amidst a pandemic: message from Dr Zahid Parvez

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Ramadan Mubarak, and I pray Allah blesses you and your family.

During the blessed month of Ramadan the mosques are normally attended by more people compared to the other months of the year. However, this will be the first Ramadan in our lives when we might not be able to attend a mosque for the daily prayers, Jumah salah, Iftaars, and tarawih salah. Indeed this will be a strange and difficult experience for many. In addition, some people might also have contracted the coronavirus and extremely worried about their health, while some others might not have been able to attend a funeral of a family member or a close friend, or would have lost their jobs/businesses and source of income, or are dealing with boredom by staying at home, or have anxiety about the future, and so on.

Unfortunately, we are entering the blessed month of Ramadan with many people needing emotional, medical or financial support, or facing other issues emerging from the pandemic. What is important, is that we must not let ourselves be pulled down by the many problems and issues we face, notwithstanding how difficult or overwhelming they may be. The blessed month of Ramadan provides us with an opportunity to bring ourselves closer to our Creator and Lord, in whose hands are all blessings and power to remove all problems and difficulties. When the connection with the Merciful Creator deepens, an inner strength to cope with our problems emerges.

Let us, therefore, spend this month in fasting, remembrance of God, devotional prayers, acts of charity, reading and reflecting over the Qur’an, the Word of God, reflecting over the meaning and purpose of our lives, and taking stock of our lives by re-examining our life priorities and direction so that we can place things in their proper perspective. All this effort will help us to grow in faith, piety, knowledge, wisdom, and light, that will help to enlighten our hearts and purify our souls, and develop our inner capacity to cope with our problems. This spiritual and moral development will inspire us to look forward positively with faith and hope, and motivate us to promote good in society and prevent wrongs and injustices around us, and help us find new creative solutions to the issues we face so that we can make our societies and world a better place for all.

Pray you reap the full blessings and rewards of the great and blessed month and you keep safe and protected from the crisis caused by the pandemic

Dr Zahid Parvez