Like many things this year, the holy month of Ramadan will be observed under more unusual circumstances. With social distancing restrictions in place across Australia, Muslim families will be relying on connecting virtually with each other.
“It will be very strange not being able to go to the Mosque this Ramadan. I have started to get used to listening to lectures and Qur’an recitations online over the last couple of weeks, but Ramadan has always been the month to connect more deeply with my faith so I think I will feel the impact of COVID-19 and isolation more intensely this month” says Samiha of Tarniet VIC.
Imran adds, “I have 5 brothers and sisters and 4 nieces and nephews all living nearby in Sydney and the thought of not being able to share Iftar in person makes me realise how much I took the previous years for granted. That is certainly one thing I will be reflecting on this year, not to take anything for granted”.
For those that are suffering the impact of COVID-19 financially, Mosques will be able to offer support, however this will be strictly managed. Under the social distancing guidelines, while people are unable to congregate at a Mosque, it is possible for the premise to be used to provide sealed halal food for those in the community that are struggling financially.
The most important thing for all of us right now is that we stay safe as a community, look after each other which means continuing with social distancing during Ramadan.
Fortunately, we are still able to connect digitally with one another and some great suggestions are:
- Organise virtual iftars online with loved ones via Zoom, Skype and Facebook Messenger. Plan them in advance like you usually would any gathering as something to look forward to.
- Stream Islamic lectures to your home, Organise prayers as a family. Speak with your Iman about how they will deliver their lectures and Qur’an classes.
- Share halal recipes via WhatsApp and learn to cook new meals to share with your immediate family.
- Use this time to connect with friends and family you haven’t seen in a long time with or have lost touch with now that distance doesn’t matter.
- Plan your iftar menus in advance to avoid making multiple shopping trips.
- If working from home, take regular breaks from work throughout the day for rest and reflection, perhaps around salaah (prayer) times.
- If possible, begin your workday a little earlier so you can have some quiet time prior to iftar.
We invite you to join with us as we celebrate Ramadan this year and will be sharing many stories this Ramadan over on our social media channels.
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.