Millions of people will around the world will be celebrating Ramadan around the world from the 13th or 14th April depending on the moon. However, once again COVID19 is likely to put many of the celebrations on hold.
Events may be cancelled, gatherings prohibitive and family mixing will need to be avoided. However, it is still possible to mark the occasion while keeping you and your loved ones safe. The Strengthening Faith Institutions organisation has a few ideas.
Ramadan is the most important time of the year and with Islam being the fastest growing religion in the UK, millions of people will be anxious to mark it with loved ones. However
Here’s a few pieces of advice.
- You can still reflect, improve, pray, share and care, all from a distance. If you’re feeling unwell or have any symptoms of COVID 19 you should avoid attending events.
- Older people or those with pre existing medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, cancer or cardiovascular disease should not attend gatherings.
- If you’re healthy, fasting should not be a problem. However, if you’re suffering from COVID 19 you should seek religious advice on breaking the fast along with your doctor.
- Proper nutrition and hydration will be crucial. Drink plenty of water and try to stick to a good variety of fresh and unprocessed foods.
- Proper nutrition and hydration are vital during Ramadan. People should eat a variety of fresh and unprocessed foods every day and drink plenty of water.
- Smoking is a bad idea at any time, but especially during Ramadan and the pandemic. Smokers will already have a reduced lung capacity which can make you more vulnerable to COVID 19.
- Try using alternative digital platforms to keep those loved ones who have to isolate involved.
- Offer special prayers for the sick and observe the tenets of Ramadan while maintaining public health.
- If you do have to cancel social or religious gatherings, you might be able to use virtual alternatives.
- If a gathering can proceed, always take measures to mitigate the risk of transmission such as wearing a mask.
- Avoid inviting anyone from outside your household for prayers or Iftar. There are still ways in which you can interact with people, via video calls such as Zoom.
- If taking meals to the needy try using pre packaged meals to reduce the risk of infection.
‘Taking the COVID-19 vaccines currently licensed in the UK does not invalidate the fast, as per the opinion of Islamic scholars. Individuals should not delay their COVID vaccinations on the account of Ramadan’, said Dr Javed Bashir. “Incidents of domestic violence, particularly against women, children are likely to increase. Religious leaders need to actively speak out against violence and provide support or encourage victims to seek help.”
For the second year in a row, the pandemic looks set to curtail religious celebrations. However, if you stick to the rules and use alternative technologies it should still be possible to have a safe and happy Ramadan.