Coronavirus outbreak: No public prayers, iftaar this Ramzan
State assigns 'designated helpers' in containment zones who will pick up essentials for residents twice a week
The first Roza of the holy month of Ramzan will be held today (Saturday) in India — but given the pandemic, the pious gatherings, prayer meetings and lavish feasts that usually accompany it will take a back seat in the lockdown.
Speaking to mid-day, Mumbai's Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh of Congress said everyone will have to abide by the rules and regulations for the next 30 days, exactly like how they have been doing so far.
"There has been no change in the guidelines. The Muslim community is going to miss this Ramzan very badly. They are used to having sehri and iftaari programmes daily during Ramzan, as well as getting together to pray and eat."
Sheikh said arrangements have been made to ensure the supply of essentials in hotspots where there is strict curfew in place. "No one is allowed to enter or go out of these areas," he said. "The government has assigned a helper who will bring essentials such as dates, milk, etc, for everyone living in that area. There will be two hours allotted twice a week for this purpose in such zones."
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Dr Asma Zehra also feels that Ramzan 2020 will be different for the community. "People usually congregate for the night prayers at masjids, but this year, the focus will be on praying individually," she said, adding that the other 'spiritual aspects' of the holy month, such as exerting self-discipline and exercising self-control, remain the same.
"Only the form of worship will change. You cannot gather in groups and will have to pray alone. But due to the availability of social media, there are new platforms emerging. So instead of connecting with each other at the masjid, people can listen to sermons online via apps like Zoom and YouTube."
"People must also do maximum charity during this month since the real challenge is for those who living in constant poverty and hunger at the moment," she added.
Aslam Rais Qureshi, President of Noori Masjid pointed out that all fasts will carry on as usual, with the main difference being that there will be no namaaz in masjids. "The jamaat that comes for Tarabi is usually after 9 pm but this time the rule is that only those people living and working at the mosque, can read Tarabi here — the rest will have to read it at home."
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