A Syrian man adjusts decorations for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Clock Square in Syria's rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib, on April 12, 2021.
A Syrian man adjusts decorations for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Clock Square in Syria's rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib, on April 12, 2021.
(Photo by AFP)

The holy month of Ramadan has begun from today and will continue till May 12. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated by people belonging to the Muslim community all around the world. This annual observance is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. It lasts between one sighting of the crescent moon and the next. It is said that Ramadan is the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad's first revelation.

The month is all about heightening one's spiritual credence and detoxifying the body by fasting from dawn to dusk. During Ramadan, people have their first meal before sunrise known as 'sehri' (also called suhoor) and the other meal is iftar, which is served after sunset. People gather in masjids for prayers and also host iftar parties. However, like the previous year, the celebrations this year too will be dampened due to the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has issued a list of guidelines to be followed during the month of Ramadan. Check out the full list:

1. To curb the spread of COVID-19 during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims should perform Namaz, Taraweeh and Iftar in their homes without coming together in a mosque or a public place.

2. The holy month should be celebrated in a very simple manner by strictly following social distancing, wearing masks, using hand sanitizers, etc. in public places without more than five people gathering at a time.

3. During Ramadan, Muslims fast for 30 days in the morning and break their fast in the evening before Maghrib prayers. Many fruits and other food vendors are expected to throng during Sehri and Iftar. Hence, the local administration must take appropriate measures in this regard.

4. On the last Friday of Ramadan, a large number of Muslims come to the mosque for the Alvida Jumma. But this time, keeping in mind the increasing cases of COVID-19, no one should gather in the mosque and pray at home.

5. Shab-e-Qadr is a holy night observed on the 26th day of the month of Ramadan. On this occasion, after the Taraweeh prayers at night, the Muslims perform Quran recitation and Nafl prayers in the mosques. But this year, all Muslims should perform these religious programs in their own homes.

6. People should not rush to the market to buy goods or gather together. Also, if the local administration has set a time limit for the purchase of goods, it should be strictly followed.

7. Due to the closure of religious places, programs should be organized online in a closed space following the norms issued by the government.

8. As section 144 is imposed in the daytime and curfew at night, vendors should not set up stalls and citizens should not roam on the streets without any reason.

9. No processions including religious, social, cultural or political events should be organized during Ramadan.

10. As religious places are closed, religious leaders, social activists, political leaders and NGOs in the Muslim community should create an awareness among the people to to celebrate the holy month in a simple manner.

11. It is necessary to strictly follow the rules of social distancing during the holy month of Ramadan. It is also important to to use masks and sanitizers.

12. It is mandatory to comply with the rules prescribed by the state government as well as the concerned municipal corporation, police, local administration.

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Free Press Journal