As we know, the month of Ramadan is marked and carried out with social activities and religious activities where Muslims gather together to carry out fasting. The fasting itself starts just before dawn (sahur) and ends with the time before dawn (iftar). Many Muslims also Together visit the nearest mosque to perform tarawih after breaking the fast (iftar).
But during Ramadan this time, related to the protocol for the COVID-19 pandemic which caused Muslims to not be able to do some of the usual activities during the fasting month such as ngabuburit looking for takjil, open with family and friends outside the home, or even go to the mosque to pray Together.
Regarding the celebration of fasting at a time like this, WHO has released guidelines for Muslims to stay healthy and safe in the implementation of fasting during a pandemic such as this (Safe Ramadan practices in the context of the COVID-19). Summarized from WHO, here are the things that need to be considered and done for healthy fasting during the pandemic:
Social and Religious Gatherings Outside the Home
Activities such as tarawih should be reduced or only done at home. The state official has the duty to carry out strict supervision related to social and religious activities carried out by Muslims outside the home. In addition, social media such as TV, radio or other digital media can be used to spread information related to the dangers of activities outside the home during a pandemic.
In this case the state and religious leaders, or community leaders can also take part in ensuring and paying attention to the Muslim people to be able to worship at home alone. And if there are religious activities such as the call to prayer and the distribution of donations, alms must be carried out with strict and healthy hygiene protocols.
Always Maintain Cleanliness Both the Body or the Environment (Places of Worship)
WHO invites Muslims to be able to stay healthy and clean while carrying out worship celebrations both at home and outside the home (if needed). These efforts can be done by:
1. Make sure that the need to wash hands is fully available such as soap and water or even provide a hand sanitizer (which contains 70% alcohol) at the entrance and inside the mosque or home respectively.
2. Ensure the availability and cleanliness of the trash can that uses the handle to open the trash can. Do not forget to always provide tissue near the available bins.
3. It is always mandatory to carry out and use individual worship equipment such as prayer mats on mosque carpets.
4. Provide infographics in the form of posters about information on the spread and handling of this COVID-19 virus.
Getting Used to the New Culture
As has become a tradition that the month of Ramadan is always used as a moment for Muslims to make friendship by forgiving one another and shaking hands. But in this condition, a handshake can be done by not making physical contact such as greeting, bowing his head then smiling, or putting his hands in front of his chest.
Try to Do Activities And Worship at Home
During this pandemic, many of us are limited in their movements and activities. But if activities outside the home are needed, always practice physical distancing and hand hygiene during activities outside the home. It is very important and indeed it is our responsibility to always maintain personal hygiene as well as those around us such as frequently washing hands, cleaning worship tools, and do not forget to do light exercise at home. School and work activities can also be done at home with classes and online meetings.
Help Maintain Mental and Social Health Conditions Between Families
In connection with the provision of worship celebrations during this pandemic, it has become important for us to also be able to pay attention to the trust and faith of each individual in family and close friends. Always convincing each other that we can all get through this pandemic together together always be healthy and strengthen each other. Keep in touch with each other and always support without having to meet. WHO states that due to conditions that are too restrictive, it can make the emotions of family members become unstable and will trigger incidents of domestic violence. Therefore, mental and social health must also be taken care of so that we can get through this time physically and mentally healthy.