The fraternity of Abrahamic faiths; Christians, Jews and Muslims, respectively observe Easter, Passover and Ramadaan of 2020 through a global pandemic of biblical proportions.
Among all of creation, it is particularly the human family that is collectively facing an overwhelming threat; from a seemingly invisible virus, a microbe that has brought the world to a standstill.
It is indeed an extraordinary time and perchance a watershed moment in human history.
If ever there were a time for humanity to take stock, this is it.
Ramadaan 2020 will be unique in that it will be a period of fasting in lockdown. Our state of global lockdown is primarily to safeguard the health and well-being of humanity.
If there’s sanctity to human life, as our traditions teach, then there’s a corresponding obligation on us to preserve that life to the best of our ability.
Every person should make sure of doing whatever is conducive to the preservation of good health, by taking all measures to maintain and enhance it. Thus, besides the obligation of fasting through Ramadaan, we have to take precaution against whatever may endanger our well-being and the well-being of those around us.
Let us obey the law.
As we increase our prayers during the month of Ramadaan, realise that prayer is harbinger of hope, and the human potential for hope is an essential antidote to the despair, helplessness and anxiety that many might be feeling in these uncertain times.
As people of faith, we recognise that life is a period of trails and tribulations, but it is our attitude towards the future that influences our mindset towards the rest of our lives.
Being positive about life ahead is among life’s greatest motivators; and hope is the best attitude towards the future. Let increased prayer magnify our hope. This Ramadaan in lockdown will be an opportunity for home-based prayer. Let us make it a family occasion for meditation, supplication, reflection and contemplation.
Take solace in observing these cherished holy days and using these moments to strengthen the bonds of family while enhancing faith. We have to ensure that we come out of this trial, better than we were before; conscientious human beings, more aware of our environment, more empathic of those who are suffering and more compassionate to those in need.
We should exemplify the advice of the great poet Sa’di Shirazi, who penned the words that now grace the entrance to the Hall of the UN: “All human beings are members of the same body, created from one essence.
“If circumstances bring suffering to one member, the others cannot stay at rest. If you are unsympathetic to the misery of others, it is not fitting that they should call you a human being.”
Let us be the best versions of human beings that we can be.
A blessed month of fasting to all – Ramadaan Kareem.
* Shaykh Sa’dullah Khan is the chief executive of Islamia College in Lansdowne. He has pursued studies in the fields of law, journalism and Islamic Studies and has presented papers at numerous international conferences worldwide. Former editor of Muslims Views, he is the author of Dimensions of the Qur’an, and has appeared on SABC, NBC, History Channel, IIS, ITV, IRNA and Turkish ATV. Khan has been an inspiring religious leader and a motivational speaker for the past 25 years.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
By Shaykh Sa’dullah Khan