Muslims observe Covid-19 SOPs as Ramadan begins

By Zurah Nakabugo.

As this year’s holy month of Ramadan expects to start on April 2 after sighting the moon, most Muslims have been advised to observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as they go for communal prayers especially evening prayers (Taraweeh), to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Taraweeh are the evening prayers performed after Isha prayers every night during fasting month of Ramadan.

“Since we are still in the struggle of fight COVID-19, we strongly advise all Muslims to continue observing Ministry of Health’s SOPs as they are they are coming for communal prayers especially Jumah prayers on Fridays and Taraweeh prayers to avoid COVID-19, pandemic,” the deputy Supreme Mufti Sheikh Ibrahim Ntanda Muzanganda said.

Unlike the last two years of lockdown, the current Covid-19 rules now allow places of worship to remain open for communal prayers but with strict social distancing measures, wearing masks, cleaning body parts at home, not at the mosques and coming to the mosque with your own mat to e during prayers.

Ntanda told The Workers Eye that since Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar and it’s a long period of worship and devotion to Allah, Muslims should use it as an opportunity to repent and ask Allah to solve the economic crisis which the country is currently facing.

“Ramadan commemorates the Qur’an being first revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Muslims should use Ramadan and ask for forgiveness from Allah to solve the problems which the country is facing at the moment such as soaring of commodities prices, poverty and Covid-19 pandemic,” Ntanda said.

Ntanda said this on Friday (March 18) at his Office, Kibuli mosque in Kampala after, I failed to have an interview with the Supreme Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Muhammad Galabuzi. Galabuzi who kept on postponing my interview appoints for several times, was suspected to be unprepared or shy to the media even on minor issues.

Hajji Ashiraf Zziwa, the Spokes Person Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) advised Muslims to continue paying sadaq during this month of Ramadan and support the ongoing massive renovation of Gadaffi mosque.

“Although we have massive renovation at Gadaffi mosque here,  we shall have Taraweeh and Jumah prayers during Ramadan,” he said.

Sheikh Haidari Kizza, the Vice Chairman Hear Uganda, a humanitarian organization says, they are donating 3, 500 food packages worth (Shs 280m) this year to different people within the country with intent of giving them hope to break their fast during Ramadan.

He says, the food packages have been mainly targeted to the poor, needy, widow and other people who don’t have food due COVID-19 pandemic.

 “As we go in villages to distribute Ramadan packages, we don’t segregate people due to their religions, tribes or gender. Give everybody since many people have been affected by the COVID-19, don’t have food and yet the scourge is still going on,” he says.

 “Don’t wait for your neighbours to die and then give them (Sadaq) food. This is the time to repent and get rewards from Allah by helping the needy, poor and the widow,” Kizza adds.

Sheikh Yasir Kulumba, the Secretary for Religious Affairs, Kibuli Mosque advised women to avoid demanding things which their husbands can’t provide since commodity prices have hiked and this might cause domestic violence which spoils their Ramadan.

Night of Power (Al-Qadr)

Kulumba advised Muslims to use the 27th day of Ramadan, which is the night of Al-Qadr, and pray the whole night asking God for rewards, forgiveness of their sins and also ask Him to help us find cure for COVID-19.

“On the day of Al- Qadr, let’s all of us play and ask Allah to save the entire globe from the consequences of COVID-19, such as financial crisis, loss of jobs and marriages plus others,” he said.

“Let’s pray for ourselves and the deceased during Ramadan since Allah opens the gates of paradise and closes the gates of hell, and also chains up the devils,” Kulumba said.

This year’s 30-day fasting period will end with Eid al Fitr on or about May 1 or 2 depending on the sighting of the moon.

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