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Ramadan & COVID-19

Category: testimonial, Religious beliefs, Eid, Staff Testimonial, Religious Observance, ramadan, COVID-19, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, religious networks, religious, month of ramadan

Religious Beliefs

Zubair Akram.

As you may have seen the month of Ramadan has finished and Muslims all around the world have ended their fasts.

Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims during which they fast (no food or drink) from dawn until sunset. It is during this month the Qur’an, the holy book for Muslims, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by Allah (God). The blessings that an individual receives for good actions are multiplied in this month which is why you see Muslims not only fasting but doing more charitable acts in this month.

However, as with everything else now, Coronavirus had a significant impact. During Ramadan last year I was in Saudi Arabia, performing Umrah, the minor pilgrimage, and was due to travel again in March before restrictions were put in place. How quickly plans can change!

Given current lockdown and social distancing measures, mosques that are usually full of worshippers are closed, restaurants where friends and families would gather to open their fast, remain closed and gatherings at family’s houses for iftar (the breaking of the fast) were also not possible.

All the above has meant I and others have had to improvise or adapt. So, whereas I would usually invite friends and family over for iftar, this year I left  food at the doorstep of neighbour’s houses. Instead of visiting the Mosque for late night prayers, I found myself leading my wife and parents in prayer at home. And finally, money that I would usually drop in to donation boxes at the Mosque, is now being donated online.

Getting in to a routine during Ramadan is always a struggle for me. I usually take 2-3 weeks of annual leave but working from home has meant I can be more flexible with the days I take off and the hours I work. It still hasn’t stopped me missing pretty much every meeting before 10am though…those who work closely with me will know this! Time also seems to go much slower when you’re at home all day compared to when I was out and about and travelling to and from work.

Ramadan always provides me with an opportunity to look back at my goals, both spiritual and non-spiritual, reset, and look forward to what I want to achieve over the short to medium term. One of those may be starting work earlier than I usually do, but I wouldn’t want to get my team’s hopes up about that!

I hope everyone mades the most of the month and had an enjoyable Eid!

By Zubair Akram.

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