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Ramzan from today in Kerala; faithful to maintain social distancing

Any other time, this would have been an occasion for family get-togethers for iftar in which sharing food and embracing each other, hailing brotherhood, would have been the norm.

Published: 24th April 2020 12:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th April 2020 12:20 AM   |  A+A-

Marking the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan, a man recites Quran along with his son at their home in Kozhikode | Manu R Mavelil

Express News Service

KOCHI: Any other time, this would have been an occasion for family get-togethers for iftar in which sharing food and embracing each other, hailing brotherhood, would have been the norm. Not this time. Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, Muslims all over the state are set to observe Ramzan fasting from Friday as the new moon (Masa Piravi) was sighted on Thursday evening.

The spiritual heads of the community have already asked devout Muslims to adhere to social distancing and stay away from namaz at mosques. Due to the regulations imposed as part of the nationwide lockdown, the mosques have also shut its doors as a precaution. In most of the mosques, only the muezzin (one who recites the adhan) will be there. Even the penultimate line of the adhan, “Hayya Ala swalah” (come for the prayer), has been replaced with “Asalat fi Beyootikum” (pray at home) in the wake of the pandemic.

“Instructions were given to all mahal committees at the time of Covid-19 outbreak to strictly adhere to the norms issued by the government. We all know how important it is to keep social distancing to fight the pandemic. The devout Muslims consider it as a blessing to do charity during the holy month. These works, especially distribution of food packets, are usually coordinated through the mosques in respective areas. All such work may get affected,” said Muhammed Faizy Onampilly, general secretary, Samastha Kerala Jam-Iyyathul Ulama (Ernakulam district).

Meanwhile, grand mufti of India Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliyar has already issued a statement, asking the devout Muslims to perform namaz including Tarawih (the additional ritual prayers performed during Ramzan after the Isha namaz) at home itself. He also urged the people in his community to donate to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

“Zakat is the religious obligation of every Muslim under which a certain portion of the wealth they generate each year should be diverted to charity. Since Ramzan is the holy month, many people consider it an apt time to donate. This year, supporting the state in its fight against the pandemic is the priority. That is why Kanthapuram Musliyar has asked people to donate to the CMDRF,” said Sunni Yuvajana Sangham (SYS) Ernakulam district general secretary Ismail Saqafi Nellikuzhi. With over a month left for Eid-Ul-Fitr, the devout Muslims hope that the Covid-19 scare would subside by then, enabling them to celebrate the day with gusto after 30 days of fasting.

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