by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR FILE
FOR the first time in history, Muslims will observe Ramadan in a “new normal” era in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that affects the world and Malaysia is no exception.
Stressing that all ibadah (religious activities) and other Ramadan traditions are to be conducted at home, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs) Senator Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri (picture) explained that the new normal refers to no congregational prayers including Friday and tarawih prayers at mosques and suraus in compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforced by the government.
“There will be no breaking of fast programmes at mosques and suraus during the MCO period as well as ‘moreh’ (supper) after tarawih prayers. The alternative is for us to carry out all these Ramadan activities at home.
“All of us want to perform more ibadah during Ramadan as it is part of efforts to preserve the religion (hifz aldin) as provided under the maqasid al-shariah. However, protecting lives is important too at present,” he said in a special message aired on television today.
The former Federal Territories mufti also said the people should always be in a positive spirit and thankful even if it is difficult to get used to the new norms in fasting this time.
“Be positive and always thankful. That’s the theme for my ‘Madrasah Ramadan’ this year. Someone, somewhere, right now is fighting for his or her life. You still have yours, so be thankful and spend it in the obedience of Allah,” he added.
Zulkifli said personally, he wanted the best Ramadan for the Muslims in the country and that he was grateful many people understand the situation and are currently together in the fight to break the chain of the COVID-19 outbreak.
He also offered words of encouragement to the frontliners, for them to be even stronger during the fasting month while carrying out duties to ensure the wellbeing of the people.
“To the frontliners, no matter how busy you are, do not forget to ‘sahur’ (pre-dawn meals) as it is a ‘barakah’ (blessings). You have to be strong for us, for the country. I am confident that with the new normal Ramadan we can do it together.
“Don’t forget to pray for Malaysia,” he added.
He also said that for the frontliners who found it hard to carry on fasting while working, it is “harus” (leeway) for them to break the fast for fear it would affect their focus and ability to treat patients.
Reminding Muslims that Ramadan is a month of test, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said it is important for them to be mindful of their manners and to be patient in their daily routine.
He also said even though there would be no Ramadan bazaar this time, Malaysians could come up with new recipes to be enjoyed with family members as well as utilise food delivery service.
“Encik Ali can order Nasi Arab, give it to Ah Chong. Auntie Tan can order KFC, give it to Puan Wani. Encik Nordin can order Nasi Kerabu, give it to Uncle Muthu.
“Ramadan is a month of charity and of sharing happiness with those around us. My only advice is don’t waste,” he said.