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Ramadan In The Time Of COVID-19: 4 Things I've Learnt As A Chinese-Muslim Revert

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Mikhail  •  May 06, 2020

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Ramadan this year is different for many Muslims around the world. Mosques are closed, bazaars are cancelled and we're all spending more time with family and performing our ibadah at home. Credit: Giphy Every year during Ramadan, we are dealt with a different set of challenges. As a Chinese-Muslim revert, my journey as a Muslim has been humbling. Every Ramadan, I'm learning something new and this Ramadan is no different. Spending Ramadan at home this year hasn't been entirely different from my usual routine in previous years but it has given me a lot to think about. Here are 4 things I've learnt:
A test is a gift from God
We are living in unprecedented times because of COVID-19. Livelihoods are affected, families are unable to see each other and some even have to deal with the passing of loved ones. We're thrown into a situation where life has to change and the things that we take for granted are now not available to us.
One of the things we have to adapt to in the current pandemic is working from home but thanks to technological advancements, we can still "meet" our colleagues.  This is Allah's test for all. Allah says in Surah Al-'Ankabut:

"Do peoplethink that they will be let go merely by saying: “We believe,” and that they will not be tested?"(29:2) 

All of our Prophets went through trials and tribulations time and again. And this is something for us to remember in the current situation when we're facing hardships. If anything, we can take comfort in the fact that nothing, whether good or bad, will befall upon us if not for Allah's will. Allah says in Surah At-Tawbah:

"Nothing will befall us except what Allah has decreed for us; He is our Protector." (9:51)

While the COVID-19 situation is unprecedented, it is a worthy test of faith and patience for believers. And as believers, we must place our trust in Allah and believe that there will be a better tomorrow, no matter what our circumstances are ❤️
Cherishing and loving one's family
With lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, it is an intense period of being stuck with family members. Reports have shown that domestic violence has increased. Cabin fever might also cause us to quarrel with family members more, and strain our relationship with them. But the important thing is to never ever forget why you chose to get married to your spouse and rememberyour filial duties to your parents. These trying times are a reminder for us to constantly love and respect our family members. The virtue of family is mentioned a lot in the Quran. Allah says in Surah An-Nisa:

"Be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you." (4:1)

Ramadan this year is a quieter affair. It's just me, Suzana and our furry cat, Meeko 🤗
This Ramadan, being at home has also enabled me to try out new things like making sourdough bread!  Even for families that are separated due to lockdowns or partial lockdowns, love and respect should still exist. No matter how far away your family members are, you can always reach them using technology. That has been the case for me.
Every Ramadan, I would go over to my dad's place to have iftar with him but this year, I'm unable to do so. It makes me cherish him even more as he would always buy halal ingredients and prepare a halal meal for me and my wife, Suzana. Though he usually has his dinner at 6pm, he'dwait for us to break fast and that's always something I'm grateful for. Although I can't be with my dad for Ramadan this year, I still call him every day to catch up with him and find out how he's doing. Loving and respecting our family is more important than ever in these circumstances.
Understanding what makes the Quran special
Every Ramadan, Muslims all over the world aim to read more of the Quran or complete it in 30 days. As we strive to read the Quran and get closer to Allah, we must also understand what it means and why it was sent to us. What makes the Quran so different and special from other holy books? To understand this, we are obligated to know the other 3 of Islam's holy books which were revealed before the Quran - Torah, Psalm and the Gospel. As Muslims, we must believe in all of them as the Quran is the most updated version of these books. Allah says in Surah Yunus:

"And it was not [possible] for this Qur'an to be produced by other than Allah, but [it is] a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of the [former] Scripture, about which there is no doubt, from the Lord of the worlds. (10:37)"

Every single word of the Quran is important and we need to understand it to feel its essence. When we start to compare the Quran with the other holy books, we'll realise that some things are thesame while others are different. Some things are clarified in the Quran. Only by comparing them will you see how miraculous the Quran really is. Islam is meant to be pondered on; you must think about it and only then will you get the essence of it. That's why it is important to go beyond regurgitating the Quran.
There is always hope
The last thing that I'd like to share is the message of hope. There's a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, especially with COVID-19. That's why we should all have hope and help those in need. Islam teaches us that one should never be in despair, even in our most difficult moments. Anas ibn Malik reported:

"The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If the Resurrection were established upon one of you while he has in his hand a sapling, then let him plant it.”

(Source: Musnad Aḥmad 12491, Sahih according to Al-Albani)

This hadith shows us the positive attitude that Muslims need to have, even if the Day of Judgment is near, because we are believers. No matter how hard it is, we need to constantly put in our best effort while placing our fulltrust in Allah's plans because He knows best. Indeed, there is always hope and hope is a powerful thing that a believer can have. I wish you all a blessed Ramadan ahead ❤️