Bracing for different Ramadhan this year

After a few days, Muslims around the world would celebrate their most sacred month, Ramadhan, which comes this year exceptionally during Covid-19 outbreak that has brought about unprecedented changes in all aspects of life, being it public or otherwise. It is expected also to change the familiar face of this special month as well.

Just months ago from now, no one would have imagined that this fasting month would be devoid of its most important characteristics and peculiarities: Family feasts, mass iftar and prayers of Taraweeh. Ramadhan mainly symbolises gatherings, but apparently it will be unfamiliar this year.

Opinions of many social media activists have confirmed that they will miss the collective rituals
and established customs during this month as the most prominent distinguishing group rites will
be lost. It will be confined to individual worship with the family inside the house instead of the
manifestations of collective worship.

Salem al Rashedi said: “Ramadhan will definitely be different, as we will miss the Taraweeh prayers and mass iftar organised in the neighbourhood and mosques. Rather, one will be in his home with his family only.

“It will not be easy to get used to a different Ramadhan,” said Muhammad Shahrazad, a resident of the Sultanate. He continued, “I live with my family here, but I am sad for those who live alone away from their families. They were also relying on iftar gatherings to live the spirit of the holy month in the mosques, and now I do not know how it will be”.

On the other hand, some believed that the preventive measures taken by the authorities, such as restricting movement and preventing gatherings, would allow more time for worship and prayers during Ramadhan.

Meanwhile, another group felt that social media would ease the sufferings of not meeting relatives and friends during the month.

Fatima, a housewife, said: “Do not make Ramadhan sad, be happy, decorate home, new dress and prepare Ramadhan food, visit others in visual communication through technological
means, spend beautiful times in exchanging stories and memories and this cloud will vanish
and the virus will end up without returning and we will be back to our life better than before.