We are conscious of our 1.8 billion Muslim sisters and brothers around the world as they begin the holy season of Ramadan 2020 when many of their long-standing traditions, such as gatherings with family and evening prayers, are being disrupted as people are forced to isolate due to Covid-19.
Ramadan 2020 began on 23 April and lasts for thirty days, coming to an end on 23 May. During this month, Muslims from the age of twelve engage in spiritual devotions including prayer, almsgiving and fasting from sunrise to sunset each day.
Fasting is important to Muslims for a number of reasons. They believe that when one is fasting one is not paying attention to mortal needs such as food and may be able to be more in tune with God. The fast also reminds Muslims of the suffering and needs of the poor – something which reminds them of the importance of charity during Ramadan.
Fasting during Ramadan offers an opportunity for Muslims to practise greater self-control and cleanses the mind and body. Praying during Ramadan is also especially important.
Let us be aware of and pray for Muslim people in our towns, suburbs, countries everywhere as they mark this time. May we learn from them about the centrality of God/Allah in life and in family.