KOCHI: The deadly COVID-19 might have cast a shadow over the holy month of Ramzan, but it has done little to douse the spiritual mood of Muslims all over the state. The devout Muslims, amid apprehensions, have taken the opportunity to reinstate the bonding and love between the family members as, in most of the houses, the evening prayer has turned into an intimate moment for families to gather and break the fast. Sunday was the 17th day of Ramzan, which is a holy occasion for Muslims. According to Islamic belief, it was on the 17th day of Ramzan that the battle of Badr was fought.
On the auspicious occasion, staying at home has only made the devotion and spiritual rejuvenation more intense for believers. “It may be for the first time that the Muslims are forced to stay away from offering prayers at the mosques during Ramzan. When the world is fighting the pandemic, it is a must. However, the positive sign of praying at home is the feeling of togetherness, the special bonding which is reinstated among the family members when they join together for performing Maghrib prayer and break the fast together,” Youth League leader Panakkad Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal told The New Indian Express.
In the wake of the pandemic, even the penultimate line of the adhan, “Hayya ala swalah” (come for the prayer), has been replaced with “Asalat fi beyootikum” (pray at home). The Tarawih (the additional ritual prayer performed during Ramzan after the Isha namaz) is also performed at homes with one of the senior members of the family leading the prayer as the imam. “All spiritual heads have given strict instructions to the devout Muslims to strictly adhere to the lockdown norms.
Even for Eid al Fitr, if the lockdown restrictions are not lifted, they will have to perform Eid namaz at homes,” Thangal added. Meanwhile, the Kerala Muslim Jamaat is organising online quiz competitions and prayer sessions during Ramzan. “On the occasion of Badr day, a quiz competition was held on Sunday. A prayer majlis was also held. The questions for the quiz programme were prepared by Samastha Kerala Sunni Yuvajana Sangham (SYS),” said sangham Ernakulam district general secretary Ismail Saqafi Nellikuzhi.
Iftar and nombu kanji
During Ramzan, most of the mosques offer ‘nombu kanji’ (a type of porridge), snacks and food for breaking the fast. However, in the wake of the lockdown, in most of the mosques, only the muezzin (one who recites the adhan) will be there. “This year, we have even cut down the number of dishes for ‘nombu thura’ (breaking the fast),” said Subaida Beevi, housewife, Poovar, Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, some of the mahal committees are arranging parcels for the families which require food for breaking the fast. “This Ramzan is, in other words, a learning curve and a time to rediscover ourselves. With our brothers and sisters from all over the world arriving and the deadly virus still posing a threat, we need to stay safe at home and reinvent that special bonding with our family members, especially with older people,” added Ismail Saqafi, Samastha.