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Faith Community Perspectives on COVID-19: Coronavirus During Ramadan

By: Sheik N. Hassan, M.D., FCCP, Associate Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean (Ret), Howard University College of Medicine

Ramadan concluded on Saturday May 23, and Muslims observed the Eid-ul-Ftir on Sunday May 24 at their homes. While some of us have worked from home during Ramadan, others were furloughed or laid off from work causing much stress and uncertainty. The root cause of all of this is because of the pandemic due to a virus called COVID-19. In this connection we are reminded of the following:

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient (Qur’an 2:155)

There are many quotes (hadith) from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) relating to hardships.  The following are just two of them:

Whoever relieves one of a burden from the burdens of the world, Allah will relieve him of a burden from the burdens on the Day of Judgment. And whoever helps ease a difficulty in this world, Allah will grant him ease from a difficulty in the world and in the Hereafter. And whoever covers the faults of someone, Allah will cover his faults for him in the world and the Hereafter. And Allah is engaged in helping the worshipper as long as the worshipper is engaged in helping another.

Whoever gives respite to one in difficulty, he will have (the reward of) an act of charity for each day. Whoever gives him respite after payment becomes due, will have (the reward of) an act of charity equal to (the amount of the loan) for each day.

Many of us took advantage of being at home during this month of Ramadan in seeking the pleasure of the Allah (Glory Be to Him) by expressing and showing our gratitude to Him for everything He gave us; being more charitable; reciting  and studying the Qur’an more; praying for relief from any burden; and asking for forgiveness and guidance.  If any of us have not yet done so, it is not too late. 

We pray: Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. (Qur’an 2:186)

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