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KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — In less than two weeks, Muslims will observe the month-long fasting with the arrival of the much-awaited Islamic calendar of Ramadan.
It is also the month for self-reflection and alms-giving, but most will be looking forward to going to the mosque or surau for the terawih prayer.
However, the situation this year is not the same as in previous years, as Muslims will be fasting amidst the Covid-19 crisis, with the government enforcing the movement control order (MCO) to curb the spread of the virus.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced two days ago that MCO will be extended for another two weeks until April 28.
The extension of MCO has drawn various reactions from the public.
Independent preacher Ustaz Azhar Idrus also shared his views, saying that with the “stay at home” order, Muslims will be able to perform their religious obligation of fasting during Ramadan with more devotion and piety.
“Fasting in this (MCO) situation is better. If there is no MCO, we go out, we socialise and are exposed to bad and sinful things. Staying at home helps to prevent the eyes from looking things that are not good to look at.
“When we fast during a situation that can hinder us from bad influence or circumstances, it is a blessing, because we get more ‘pahala’ (reward from Allah),” he said during a live streaming on question-and-answer session with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri through Instagram recently.
On Terawih prayers cannot be held in surau or mosques this Ramadan due to the MCO, he said, it was not a problem as it could be performed at home.
“The Prophet also performed the Terawih prayer alone at home,” said Azhar, adding that he regarded fasting during MCO as a blessing.
Meanwhile, Ayman Rashdan Wong, through his Facebook, said there is a blessing for fasting during MCO as it would enable Muslims to appreciate Ramadan and to self-reflect better.
“Self-reflection is more effective when we are alone. There is no better time to practise the sunnah way of life, eat less, pray on time, go to bed early, read the Quran and recite the doa and zikir while waiting for the call of the Maghrib prayer for the breaking of fast.
“Indeed, Covid-19 is a ‘reset’ button to remind the people about humanity,” he added.
Facebook user Ariel Hassan said Ramadan is the time for Muslims to feel remorse over the suffering of others.
“We, in Malaysia, waste a lot, when buying for breaking of fast, we buy everything and eat to our heart’s content to an extent of missing the prayers. The MCO is a huge blessing, when we are at home, we pray on time,” he said.
Maizaton Othman, through her Facebook, said the MCO period would provide an opportunity for Muslims to concentrate on performing their religious obligations during Ramadan better. — Bernama