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Nigerians Tell Us What It Is Like To Be Fasting During A Pandemic

Even as Governor Ganduje of Kano, last week Friday commended the people of Kano on their undertaking of the spiritual activity – Ramadan, the question still looms: How will Muslims go about their fasting in this global emergency that we find ourselves. There is plenty talk about commendations for willingness to fast and prayers been made, but it is also important to ask how our Muslim friends are handing this pandemic – viz-a-viz participating in this Holy Month of Ramadan.

Pexels.com /// Fikayo Aderoju

Unable to break fast together in Masjid (mosque), dynamics around missed fasting days, psychological and physiological demands and much more are valid talking points in this period. Discussing with our Muslim friends around, this are what some of them had to say about the situation:

Mr R: I have not fasted seriously in quite a while but I am attempting to do so this period. I have been living and working in Lagos (on and off) for almost 3 years now My family is in Kwara. I have a great job and a fairly good life. However, I have been away from my family for a while and without my family’s support, this period has been extremely draining and depressing. My 18-year-old daughter came back from school to stay with me to ‘wait out the virus’. Little did we know it will last this long. We are fasting together. She has helped me to keep my sanity and focus in this period.

Ignorance and misinformation is not helping us in anyway.

Mrs H: This Covid-19 pandemic has turned my world upside down. For the past three weeks I have been in crisis mode. I have been working from home and my 3 kids have been doing online school for two weeks now. We are fasting, the kids aren’t. It’s difficult going through the news to see so much ignorance, lies and misinformation brought to our digital doorstep during this period.

Mr A.K: My fasting is going well, God has been enabling us. What I find most challenging? From my view point, it would be the many misguided notions a lot of people have and how relentlessly they peddle these conspiracies and lies; bearing in mind the adverse effect it may have on us all.

I am praying for the safety of my kids.

Mrs E. A: To be honest I don’t think the President’s decision was the right one. I am a civil servant and my two sons who stay together in Lagos are in the working class, they both informed me that they will be resuming work this coming Monday and I have been extremely scared. My supplications this Ramadan have been centred on my children’s safety. They are being put under undue risk. I won’t forgive this government should anything happen to them. That’s all I have to say.

Working together will be key.

Dr. D. A: This is a global reset like we have never seen before, and it will cause long-lasting structural changes to all of our ways. It has already begun with our religious practices. We need to start looking forward. I am constantly speaking to young adults I am mentoring all of different denominations and I am always telling them the same thing: We must begin to look forward as to how we are going to work together and find innovative solutions for survival.

Studying will help in these times.

Mr Tunde: (He said it’s okay if we used his name) I am taking a course in conflict and crisis management and I have also been doing some deep Islamic study to grow my faith during this trying period. Both readings have been, on different level, extremely helpful. I work from home, and of course that comes with the usual daily stress, fog, friction of being in a combat zone et cetera. Simple tasks now seem so much challenged – even fasting. I am maintaining strict daily routines that ensure I have enough time for my family, for work , for myself and for Allah. I have a strong sense of purpose, and I think this has been most helpful for me in this period.

The situation demands that we be grateful to God for favour and for this great exposition that there is more to life than just mere mortal existence. This global spiritual event is an opportunity for brothers and sister of the Muslim faith to reconnect to their spiritual roots and draw courage and faith in this difficult period.

Our love and support is with you all.

Happy Ramadan

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