KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Muslims in the country will have to get accustomed to observing the fasting month way different than the usual, more so with the movement control order imposed since March 18.
For the first time this year, Ramadan which is normally a sociable time, will see no communal tarawih prayers in the surau and mosques, no bonding over moreh meals, no group quran reading sessions or any religious ceremonies as well as no Ramadan bazaars to enliven the atmosphere.
However thanks to technology, the MCO enforcement has not stopped Muslims from making the necessary preparation for Ramadan including in performing the usual congregational prayers or other acts of worship.
Nurul Fatihah Arifin, 26, who could not be home with her family in Kok Lanas, Kelantan for Ramadan, said things will be a lot different this year, as meals and other preparations will be on a moderate scale.
“I have been working and living in Seremban for the past three years with two other friends, this is the first time I am not with my family to celebrate the holy month. We broke our fast yesterday, with just a simple meal which we cooked.
“For side dishes such as roti john, murtabak and local delicacies that we usually buy at the Ramadan bazaars, we ordered them through food delivery applications and had them sent right at our doorstep,” she said.
According to Muhammad Haikal Abdul Halim, 29, and his wife Murniasari Nasir, 29, fasting during the MCO has forced them to maximise the use of technology to stay in close touch with family members as they go through the holy month.
“Sadly, this year my wife could not be with her family in Pasir Gudang, Johor for Ramadan.
“However we still find time to be with our close relatives as we make WhatsApp video calls or use Skype to recite the Quran together,” said Muhammad Haikal who is from Negeri Sembilan.
For Luqman Hakim Omar, 29, who now runs an online business selling King Roti John around Senawang town in Seremban, this year has been a unique experience after having been used to operating his stall at the Ramadan bazaar for the past few years.
“Although this is the first time I am doing online business, I am thankful that response had been encouraging and since the first day sales had been good,” he said adding that the bread were sold at RM5 to RM7 a piece.
Meanwhile, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Islamic Studies Faculty dean, Prof Dr Wan Kamal Mujani described the fasting month this year as a month of realization through retrospection.
“Some of us Muslims must have felt a sense of loss or remorse as what is happening today is something no one has ever imagined.
“However, we need to have a positive perspective of the situation, capitalise this Ramadan to reflect ourselves and perform religious rituals with our family members at home,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
He added that this is the time to improve our Quran recitation while hoping that with the absence of Ramadan bazaars this time around, those who had been shopping excessively and wasting food during Ramadan, would start to repent. — Bernama