Ramadan in the times of Covid-19

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Ramadan in the times of Covid-19

Ramadan in the times of Covid-19

Dr. Ibrahim Negm

Senior Media Advisor to Egypt's Mufti

 It was said that crises can bring out the worst in human nature – yet they can bring out the best, too. As we enter this blessed month with a heavy heart and deep sense of sadness, we have to opt for the latter choice. These difficult times we are going through won't ruin our Ramadan – it will remind us about so many important lessons.

Let us remember that another name for Ramadan is the month of patience. In an authentic hadith, the Prophet says: “Sawm (fasting) is the half of patience.” (Kanzu’l-Ummal, 8:444)

In Ramadan, we go through a good training of patience. We experience high ethics in our own worlds. We accustom our stomach to patience by not eating anything though we are hungry, by not drinking even a sip of water though our throat dries out of thirst.

On the other hand, if we happen to get angry, or if our souls force us to backbite or to tell lies and bad words, we instantly refrain and remember that we are fasting and thus show patience against such evils.

This training of patience that we carry out during Ramadan makes us recall those whose circumstances are more straitened than ours. This is because however poor one may be, one can by all means still find others poorer and more in need than oneself.

At least, one may think of the people who are in danger of starvation or seriously ill in many parts of the world today. Thus, one tries to increase one's patience and thanksgiving.

Also Ramadan teaches us there is total wisdom in all of Allah’s plans – whether we can comprehend them or not.

As Covid-19 sweeps the globe, it has brought the world economy to its knees, left everyone panicking, Doctors fearful and Scientists bewildered. We see societies in despair, feeling helpless and in perhaps most cases, hopeless. What lessons can we learn in this time of adversity? Below, I present seven passages from The Holy Quran provide comfort in these trying times.

1-Purpose of creation:

This crisis has demonstrated how materialistic our society is becoming. We overvalue our worldly pursuits; we have become workaholic’s consumed by work. COVID-19 is a reminder that you were not created for work only. Our true work is to worship our Lord, our King and God! It is to care for each other and to benefit one another. Allah says “Continue reminding, the reminder benefits the believers. I created Jinn and Human beings only to worship Me. I don’t want any sustenance from them nor for them to feed Me. Allah is surely the Sustainer, the Superpower and strong. The wrongdoers will have the punishment like their ancestors, so they shouldn’t ask Me to hasten it” (Ad-Dhariyat: 55-59).

2-Life has a purpose:

COVID-19 reminds us of the fragility and shortness of life. Through this, those who reflect deeply will begin to acknowledge the gifts of our wonderful Lord, the giver of life. This is one way that will enable you and will be able to keep your ego in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are, we’re dependent on the All-Mighty Lord. Allah says “Did you reckon We created you without a purpose and you wouldn’t be returned to Us? How exalted is Allah, the True King! There is no god beside Him, Lord of the Honoured Throne. Whoever calls on another god for which he has no proof along with Allah, his account rests with His Lord. The disbelievers never succeed” (Al-Muminun: 115-117).

3-Maintaining family ties:
We are mindful of our family and relatives. In our previous busy lives, we may have neglected our loved ones. Another lesson is to strengthen our family unit. Through our father and mother, COVID-19 is forcing us back into our houses, so we can rebuild relationships in our homes. This is also showing us how connected we must be, whether, in Wuhan or Westminster, our humanity is universal. It’s telling us that the borders that we have put up have little stopping power, this virus doesn’t require a passport. Allah reminds us “People be mindful of your Lord, He created you from a single person and created his partner from him, and then from the pair, He spread countless men and women throughout the world. Be mindful of Allah in Whose name you make demands from each other, beware of breaking blood-relationships. Allah watches over you” (An-Nisa: 1).

4-Coping with life’s tests:

We are reminded to be patient, not to panic. Staying calm, waiting for the storm to end. It’s beyond anyone’s control, it’s happened many times in history and will pass, so rest assure there is an end to COVID-19. This is a time of reflection and understanding, what good have we done, what wrong have we done? Is there a lesson we can learn from our mistakes? This may become a new beginning. Allah instructs us “Believers find strength through patience and prayer – Allah is with those who are patient. Do not speak irreverently about those who were killed fighting in Allah’s way, that they are “dead”; rather, they are living, though you do not sense it. We will certainly test you: with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, health and harvests. Give good news to those who are patient and who, when they are struck by misfortune, softly say: “We belong to Allah and are returning to Him”. These are the ones who shall be blessed and kindly treated by their Lord; they are the guided” (Al-Baqara: 153-157).

5-Gain after strain:

The verse below was revealed for the consolation of the Messenger (peace be upon him) when he was facing tough times, it’s in a tone that displays friendship and love. The surah expresses the incredibly elevated position of the Messenger (peace be upon him). Despite this honour, he (peace be upon him) is told to strive enthusiastically in Allah’s worship. This is a powerful reassurance that after every difficulty, there is always ease. COVID-19 reminds us that life is cyclical, hardship is followed by ease, so COVID-19 is just a phase in this cycle. We do not need to panic; it shall pass soon, Insha Allah. Allah reminds us “Didn’t We expand your chest, and lifted your burden, which weighed down your back. We raised high your honour. Indeed, every hardship follows ease, indeed, every hardship follows ease. Once you have finished your daily tasks carry on seeking your Lord passionately in worship” (Al-Inshirah)

 6-Giving at times of adversity

Ramadan is also a month of giving and sharing so let us all ensure that in this difficult time we support the poor and the needy. The QURAN reminds us that we will only attain Jannah unless we spend in His Cause. Surah Al-Baqara 95

During the Corona Virus outbreak, there are many ways we can practice this, whether that be donating to foodbanks, or checking up on our neighbors. Kindly remember your first and foremost obligation goes to your extended family

7-following public health guidance is Islamic

Allah SWT reminds us over and over again that life is a precious gift and we have to protect this precious gift. Allah says (do not put your life in jeopardy) Surah Al-Baqara 195

Also our beloved Prophet instructed us to seek medication whenever one falls ill. Narrated by Imam Ahmad.

Stay safe and follow the health guidelines.


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