While the rest of India will observe the 29th of Shaban on Friday, moon has been sighted in Kappad area of Kozhikode as well as Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts which means that Kerala will observe its first fast on Friday. Beginning Ramadan ahead of the rest of the country due to its geographical location, Kerala would begin the Ramadan fasts from Friday, April 24. Also Read - Bajrang Dal Demands Resignation of CEO After Vaishno Devi Shrine Served Sehri-Iftari to Quarantined Muslims in Ramadan 2020 Amid COVID-19
However, this year there will be no Taraweeh or the special Ramadan prayers in any part of the world in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Taraweeh is offered in mass congregation post the Isha namaz and this will be the first time in years when Muslims will be offering it at home instead of the mosques. Also Read - Eid Mubarak: Twitterati Keeps the Spirit of Eid Alive, Wishes For Peace & Harmony in the World
According to a report in Al Riyadh, Dr Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, was quoted saying, “The suspension of performing the five daily prayers at mosques is more important than the suspension of Taraweeh prayers. We ask Allah the Almighty to accept Taraweeh prayers whether held at mosques, or homes, which we think is better for people’s health. We ask Allah the Almighty to accept prayers from all of us and protect humanity from this epidemic that hit the entire world.”
Unlike the Gregorian calendar followed by the West, the Islamic calendar is lunar that is, based on the moon. Since lunar months are shorter than solar months, Muslims holy month of Ramadan, which takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic year, occurs approximately 11 days earlier every year depending on when the moon is sighted and hence, varying from country to country by about a day.
The Hilal Committee in India’s coastal state of Kerala attempted to sight the crescent moon this evening but no confirmation came until recently. Along with Kerala, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar are also on the lookout of the hilal crescent.
Despite food bazaars wearing a deserted look this Ramadan and the obligatory five prayers in mosques being completely banned owing to the nationwide lockdown, the rozedaars are not to be deterred in spirit.
Abstaining oneself from all the temptations, extreme emotions, addictions and other worldly desires to give one a sense of self-control and strong will-power is the aim behind observing the fasts during the 29 or 30 days of Ramadan. Not getting into false speech, insulting, cursing, lying and fighting is also observed so as to not negate the reward of fasting.