Coronavirus: Spending Ramadan in lockdown? Here’s what you can do during the month

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As hundreds of countries have gone into lockdown to curb the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Muslims across the world are preparing for the holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, marks the period when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset as a show of gratitude and reflection. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on April 23.

Families and friends often gather after a long day of refraining from eating and drinking to share a meal, and restaurants and cafes are often bustling with people and mosques are full of believers partaking in group prayers.

However, this year Ramadan will be observed differently as restaurants, coffee shops, shisha cafes have been ordered to shut their doors, and mosques have advised Muslims to pray at home to maintain social distancing practices.

But amid the pandemic, here’s a list of things you can do to make the most out of this Ramadan:

Set realistic goals

Before the start of Ramadan, set goals for yourselves that you know you will be able to accomplish. These could include praying right after the call to prayer ends, reading two to five pages of the Quran every day, or donating a specific amount of money to the needy per week.

Perfect your prayers

Since governments around the world have asked most employees to refrain from going to the office, there is no need for people to rush through their prayers to get back to work. Ask your coworkers to cover your shift for ten minutes so you can take your time while praying.

Hold a virtual iftar

The end of a fasting day is often marked with a gathering of friends and family to share a meal. However, since social distancing has been keeping people apart, holding a virtual iftar could be a fun alternative to catch up with relatives and loved ones.

Try new recipes

During Ramadan, Muslims cannot eat from dusk to dawn. Trying out a new recipe every day could give you and all those you live with something to look forward to at the end of your fast.

Hand out mini care packages to food delivery drivers

If you are not much of a cook, and often opt for ordering from restaurants, you could hand out mini care packages to food delivery drivers. You could include a meal, dates, and a bottle of water in your package.

Donate to the less fortunate

If you’re looking to pay it forward this Ramadan, consider donating money, clothes, or food to your local charities. Look up food banks and organizations around your city that might be able to pick up donated items from your home to avoid going outside or find one you can visit nearby.

Restrict the time you spend on social media

Lockdowns and curfews have left us with very little to do inside our homes to keep ourselves entertained, so it is unsurprising that social media usage has surged globally, according to data provided by Statista. Instead of spending hours scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, take that time to reflect, read the Quran, or pray.

Read more:

Coronavirus: Expert advice on whether Ramadan fasting during the pandemic is safe

Egypt’s Azhar says it’s not permissible to avoid fasting in Ramadan amid coronavirus

Coronavirus: Saudi scholar council urges Muslims in Ramadan lockdown to pray at home

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