Covid-19: Malaysian Health Coalition reminds Muslims to maintain social distancing during Ramadan

Malaysian Muslims queue in front of the Section 7 Mosque to be tested for Covid-19 in Shah Alam March 26, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Malaysian Muslims queue in front of the Section 7 Mosque to be tested for Covid-19 in Shah Alam March 26, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 — The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) today reminded Muslims in the country to strictly observe social distancing during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Acknowledging that Muslims could not celebrate the usually festive month of Ramadan like before, with the country now under the movement control order (MCO), MHC said it was imperative that fellow Muslims make it through the fasting month safely.

“Although it may be difficult, Malaysians must maintain physical distancing. We may not have Ramadan bazaars or tarawih prayers at the mosque, but alternative arrangements at home will remain meaningful. We can protect our family and community, especially the elderly, by reducing our physical contact with them. This is an act of love and sacrifice,” said MHC in a statement today.

MHC also urged local imams and community leaders to adopt a modern and digital approach to help guide their respective communities during this trying time.

“We understand that celebrating Ramadan under MCO while separated from loved ones may be mentally and emotionally difficult for some. We encourage local and religious leaders such as imams and ketua kampung to guide and support their communities using telecommunications and digital platforms during this period.

“This time can still be used to reflect, improve, share, and care for one another from a healthy distance, which can ease any feelings of isolation or loneliness,’’ said MHC.

Despite necessary restrictions under MCO, MHC urged that fellow Muslims carry on the spirit of Ramadan by continuing to care for one another.

“The spirit of Ramadan is charity, love and care for our brothers and sisters. While some things may be different under the MCO, our ‘niat’ or intentions to fulfill that spirit remain the same. We can celebrate the spirit of Ramadan by actively caring for our neighbours in our community, for example by donating food or money so no one goes hungry, or by spending time on the phone or video calls with lonely neighbours,’’ said the statement.

“We acknowledge that our Muslim brothers and sisters are expected to make greater than usual sacrifices this fasting month, especially during the movement control order (MCO). However, this does not diminish the spirit of Ramadan. The virtues which are encouraged during this holy month—such as charity, helping those in need, and minimising waste—are more important now than ever,’’ added MHC.

MHC comprises 45 organisation such as the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia, Malaysian Medical Association, The Malaysian Muslim Doctors Organisation (Perdim) as well as 19 other individual signatories.

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