There is no doubt that Ramadan this year has been hitting differently for all of us as we celebrate it in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. With mosque closures and stay-at-home measures, the one thing that’s sorely missed are the moments of community. Whether that be congregational prayers, iftar gatherings with friends and family or attending Islamic classes, it is the coming together that creates a heightened sense of spirituality.
Although we may not be able to experience Ramadan the way that we’re used to, it doesn’t mean that we can’t keep up the community spirit of this holy month. With some adjustments and a little bit of imagination, there are plenty of ways to still feel connected while staying apart from each other.
1. Throw a virtual iftar session
Thanks to technology, keeping in touch with your family and friends is a piece of cake. There are plenty of apps and online platforms such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts available at your fingertips, so why not host an iftar session through the screen of your mobile devices? Of course, it’s far from what a real-life gathering feels like but the upside of a virtual meal together is that you know you’re keeping each other safe ?
P.S. In the mood for a late-night sweet treat? These 6 yummy drinks to enjoy for supper this Ramadan will do the trick!
2. Send iftar meals to frontliners
Since the beginning of the pandemic, medical frontliners and essential workers have been working tirelessly around the clock to contain the COVID-19 virus - even throughout the fasting period, they continue to serve our country. For those of us who are privileged enough to be staying at home safe and comfortable, one way we can give back is to send iftar meals to Muslim frontliners. Working endless hours leaves very little time for many frontliners to prepare their own meals, so food contributions can be of tremendous help to them ❤️
Check out Malaysia’s #KitaJagaKita website where you can find a list of places to make your food donation for frontliners. For those of you in Indonesia, you can contribute to the #Bisamakan program which provides meals for healthcare front liners, essential daily workers, and even vulnerable groups such as the homeless. In Singapore, you can donate funds for healthcare workers, their families as well as others who are in need through the #SGUnited Buka Puasa Initiative which is going on at community centres around the island.
3. Volunteer or donate to community initiatives
On top of helping out frontliners, see if you can sign up to volunteer or help out any food drives or other initiatives around you. If you don’t have the time or aren’t physically capable of doing so, then spreading the word to others can be just as helpful! For a list of organisations in Malaysia where you can provide cash contributions to purchase medical supplies, donate food items to the hungry and more, check out our article right here or visit the #KitaJagaKita website. For those in Singapore and Indonesia, head over to SG United and Kitabisa websites respectively.
P.S. Find out what other ways you can give to charity from home this Ramadan.
4. Cook some extra food and share it
The spirit of giving is a big part of Ramadan and what better way to do this than to cook some extra food and share it with others. Whether you choose to whip up a few local dishes for a next-door neighbour, your friend down the street or the neighbourhood cafe owner, sharing home-cooked food connects people and helps to create a stronger community. Don’t worry if your cooking isn’t at Masterchef level, the point here is your intention of giving and that’s what counts the most!
P.S. Not sure what to cook? Check out these delicious meals you can create under 30 minutes or these easy recipes you can make using a rice cooker.
5. Reach out to friends and family
The COVID-19 situation has been pretty tough on everyone and with Ramadan being a stay-at-home affair this year, it’s important to reach out to friends and family who are living alone or away from us. Check up on them with a quick phone or video call, or have their favourite treat delivered to their doorstep. It’ll be a nice surprise that will definitely brighten their day and it’s one way of letting them know that they’re in your thoughts during this trying time ?
6. Invite family and friends to online Islamic classes
During Ramadan, many take the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on Islamic teachings. But with mosque closures and social distancing measures in place, attending lectures and classes aren’t possible at the moment. There are, however, other ways you can do this and it’s thanks to technology once again! With plenty of resources online to choose from (check out this list of 8 free online Islamic classes compiled by Muslim SG!), you can invite your family and friends to attend these virtual sessions ?Learning together makes for strong bonds and the experience becomes more enjoyable too, so rope in everyone you know and get ready to do some learning!
P.S. For more options, here are 12 Islamic online lectures and podcasts to listen to this Ramadan.
7. Do random acts of kindness
When it comes to helping others, no act is too big or too small. From tipping the Muslim delivery riders and leaving them care packages of snacks and drinks to making donations towards non-profit organisations and charities around the world, every bit of effort counts. There is a quote that goes, “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness” and in a trying time like this one, these words have never been truer. So, do your best to lend a hand wherever and whenever you can ?
We might not be able to gather the way we normally do during Ramadan, but let’s continue to keep our community spirits up as much as possible and pray that the coming days will get better as we come out on the other side as a stronger society ?