A Ramadan like no other

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Core tenets of Islam are to be kept in mind in these trying times, such as those of charity, compassion, and community

The holy month of Ramadan is here again.

This month calls for the practice of some of the core values of Islam — prayer, patience, and restraint being some of them — from Muslims all over the world.

With a month of fasting to look forward to and reflect upon these values, this is also a time for introspection — a time to reflect quietly upon our habits, leave behind what is undesirable, and pursue better ones so that we may become the best possible versions of ourselves. This devotion brings us closer to ourselves, our fellow humans, and perhaps most importantly, to Allah.

However, as the world continues to struggle against the Covid-19 pandemic, these are also entirely unprecedented times, and will make for a Ramadan unlike any other we have experienced.

As such, it calls for even greater restraint. Gathering in masses for iftar or Taraweeh prayers, despite being traditional Ramadan activities in Bangladesh, are no longer feasible under current circumstances. We must continue practicing social distancing diligently, as well as keep upholding other quarantine and lockdown measures.

Of course, it is not only Bangladesh that is subject to this preventive course of action. Even the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia has called for people to avoid gatherings in order to reduce further spread of the virus, insisting that preserving people’s lives “brings them closer to Allah.”

Other core tenets of Islam are also to be kept in mind in these trying times, such as those of charity, compassion, and community.

This Ramadan is likely to prove particularly difficult for our poorest and most unfortunate, who have already suffered greatly as their livelihoods have been slashed as a result of the pandemic. In the spirit of the holy month, it is therefore more important than ever to be as charitable as we can and help out those in need.

It is certainly not the best of times, but we hope this Ramadan will provide us with the inner peace we seek in these troubling circumstances.

We wish Ramadan Mubarak to all our readers.