As Nigerian Muslims join their counterparts all over the world to observe this year’s Ramadan fast, it behooves the Islamic faithful to pray fervently for peace and forgiveness and a quick end to the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world with its attendant lockdown.
Since this month is a special one in which believers pray hard and seek forgiveness of sins, Muslims and other Nigerians should pray for the containment of the ongoing socio-economic disruption occasioned by the Covid-19.
Fasting in Ramadan, which is one of the pillars of Islam, is total abstinence from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days.
Nigerian Muslims were directed to commence this year’s Ramadan fast on April 24, 2020, which is equivalent to the Ramadan 1, 1441 AH by the Sultan of Sokoto and spiritual head of the Muslim faithful, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who announced the sighting of the moon in a broadcast to the Muslim Ummah on the night of April 23.
The need to fast in the month of Ramadan is contained in the Qur’an Chapter 2 verse 183, which says: “O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may take heed or guide against evil”.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is also the month the Holy Qur’an was revealed, the best and the most precious month in a year.
Apart from fasting for 29 or 30 days, Muslims are expected to dedicate themselves to other religious duties like supplication, public lectures which will not be observed this year in line with coronavirus precautionary protocol and Tassie (exegesis of the Glorious Qur’an).
It must be borne in mind that since this year’s Ramadan fast is coming at the most challenging year in the annals of history of Nigeria and the whole world, only prayers and collective efforts would enable us come out of the woods we find ourselves.
Nigerians should use the period to conform with the laid-down measures to curb the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic-washing of hands under running water for 20 seconds; maintaining physical and social distancing; non-gathering in either churches or mosques; using of alcohol based sanitizer; mandatory use of face masks, among others.
While commending the efforts of the various governments so far for the provision of palliatives for the vulnerable and needy to cushion the effect of the lockdowns by the governments in various states, we appeal to those in charge of the distribution to ensure that the items get to the beneficiaries.
We appeal to the well-meaning members in the society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to complement governments’ efforts in donating generously to the needy in the spirit of Ramadan.
We further advise the foodstuff sellers not to use this period to hike prices so as not to add to the hardship of fellow Nigerians.
While we urge Nigerians to take responsibility of their actions to curb the spread of COVID-19, we also wish the Islamic faithful Ramadan Kareem.
For a better society