Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Tanvir Usman, Staff Reporter
Faithful in the UAE and all around the world are busy accumulating the virtues of Ramadan in the time of lockdowns and social distancing.
They are observing the blessed month in its true essence despite the mosque closures and ban on congregational prayers.
Though the coronavirus has altered the way of marking the holy month this year it has failed to dampen the spirit of Ramadan. In fact, COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to the Muslims to seek repentance from the Almighty while being confined to their homes.
Usually most of the faithful can’t find enough time to spend with loved ones due to busy schedules or heavy workloads, this Ramadan is a rare chance for them to make most of it.
Praying, breaking the fast and having Suhur with the loved ones throughout the holy month may be a beautiful experience for people to further strengthen their family bonds.
The UAE government is making all-out efforts to keep the public safe from the coronavirus. Now it is the public’s responsibility to cooperate with the authorities and adhere to the guidelines in fight against the disease that have claimed thousands of lives all across the globe.
Here is the reaction of the UAE expatriates who spoke to Gulf Today and shared their thoughts about Ramadan during the challenging times.
Faizan Aslam, an engineer by profession, said: “In the age of internet, life is not tough under lockdown. We are lucky enough as most of the food and other services are just a click away, thanks to the technology.
“In the normal routine, I used to go for work early in the morning and come back late at night. After a long time, I have got a chance to spend quality time with my family while staying at home in the holy month of Ramadan. Social distancing is key to keep the coronavirus at bay. I would like to request all the citizens to abide by the rules set by the UAE authorities in the fight against COVID-19.”
Illyas, a Sharjah-based IT professional, said: “Life under lockdown is definitely not something which anyone of us would like to enjoy but then circumstances are such that it is the only way to stay safe and thus is unavoidable.” But he was quick to add, “The silver lining of this unfortunate happening is that most of us for the first time are able to observe the holy month of Ramadan with families.”
Illyas said, “Although we are away from our work and acquaintances, we are lucky to get enough time to devote to prayers and sooth our spiritual being, which otherwise was not possible under normal circumstances.”
Another expat, Mohammed Shafi, a Sharjah-based technician, said spending quality time with family was his long time dream, which has been fulfilled now albeit under very abnormal circumstances.
Shafi said he does understand that times are tough and we are at home not because we wanted to but because we all are forced to do to stay safe.
He said he is in the UAE for the last 12 years but has never got dawn to dusk free time to spend with his family during the holy month.
Having Iftar with family and guiding the kids towards a more religious path has definitely been a blessing in disguise for him. Leading the family prayers at home is a unique experience for him, he added.
Shafi said in every prayer he does pray to Allah Almighty to ease the suffering of all those who are in mental, physical and financial troubles.
Nabila, a web designer by profession, said: “Observing Ramadan in lockdown is a blessing for me. I used to leave for my office in Dubai from Sharjah at about 6am, that was really painful. Now as I am working from home, I get enough time to recite the Holy Quran after the Fajar prayer. Also, I have got an opportunity to prepare Iftar for family after a long time.”
Badar, who works at a salon in Sharjah, said: “As the salons were closed as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of coronavirus, I got a much-needed break and listened to famous religious scholars’ lectures on YouTube. I also learnt cooking and prepared Iftar meal during this break, which was really an amazing experience. I pray to the Allah Almighty for safety of people in the UAE and all over the world. We must follow the government’s guidelines in the fight against COVID-19.”
The preliminary results of the scientific study conducted last April by the Health Promotion Department, HPD, at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs Sharjah in cooperation with the University of Sharjah have shown that 39% of smokers decreased their smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), a UAE-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has made an impassioned call to citizens around the world to generously support its 2021 Zakat and general donations drive during Ramadan.
Medical test for Coronavirus disease does not invalidate fasting, said eminent Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdullah Al Hammadi. However, he stressed that those who are not well or have doubt that they might be affected by the Coronavirus should not fast. They should make up for the lost days after Ramadan when they are healthy.
The 17-day Ramadan Nights will kick off today Thursday, May 23 and will continue until June 8, amid an extraordinary atmosphere, exciting offers and exclusive discounts up to 75 per cent which are considered one of the biggest discounts at the Emirate level.
Citizens also demanded from animal welfare societies in the Kingdom to honour the young man, who has not yet been identified.
In a circular distributed to all public schools in the UAE, The Emirates Schools Establishment (ESE) said new updated measures will be put into effect as of Monday, Jan.17, 2022, until Friday, Jan.21, 2022.
The Child Safety Department (CSD), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, has launched an awareness campaign to ensure children remain safe in vehicles on long outdoor trips planned in winter. Targeting all communities, especially parents, the campaign themed ‘Enjoy a Safe Winter’, was launched in collaboration with Sharjah Police via CSD’s social media platforms.