Coronavirus in UAE: How residents are bracing for a #StayHome Ramadan

#StayHome, Ramadan, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Holy Quran Eid, Prayer timing

Residents say the restrictions won't deter or dampen their spirit as they brace for the festival.

This StayHome Ramadan will be an opportunity to boost the family bonding with a newfound togetherness, help us dedicate more time to pray together with our loved ones, and could turn out to be the most memorable one, feel Muslim residents in the UAE. They say the restrictions won't deter or dampen their spirit as they brace for the festival in various novel ways to make the most of the situation.
Praying in unison
Ahmad Sallam, a 47-year-old Egyptian, said he has been praying indoors for over three weeks now and it's unprecedented since he has never done so before for such a long time at a stretch in his entire life. 
"I feel something huge missing. But, I have devised a special plan for this Ramadan so that my family gains from it. We have already started a trial to see how it works as we are confined indoors."
"I have advised all my three sons and daughter to start reciting one Juza or part of the Holy Quran every day," he said. "We also say every prayer together at home in unison to get more rewards." Apart from this, he said he is following up on his kids' online classes even as he works remotely from home.
Teach kids to be spiritually strong
It is going to be a much quieter Ramadan for Farooq Mahmood, a Pakistani, and his family, as he said the night prayers 'Taraweeh' will be missed immensely.

Mahmood, who is with an airline, said he is working from home and bonding more with his family, adding that he will be "using this time to get closer to God" and also teaching his kids about the importance of being spiritually strong.
"We have three kids in the age group 5-11, and usually it would be just their mother taking care of everything from cooking, cleaning and teaching the children but I have now started helping her in taking care of the kids. This Ramadan, I will dedicate to focusing on my children."
Mahmood will eat, fast and pray with them. "I think this is going to be beneficial for them and for me as I have never really got time to be with them this way."
"We believe that what Allah does is for our best and hence, I and my wife will make the best use of this stay-at-home period and make it a memorable Ramadan."
Feel better fasting than before
Abu Musa, a Pakistani, is happy to be with his wife and two kids for a longer time every day. "Our bond has grown stronger. I am talking more often to my wife and kids, and we feel so happy and content about this."
Abu Musa pointed out: "As long as we are practicing the same type of worship as we did previous years, there won't be any issue this Ramadan, and we will even feel better fasting than before."
"Of course, we all miss praying at the mosque, but we are praying together at home and getting closer to each other."
Abu Musa's family has its daily plan, which starts at 4.40am every day. "All my family members wake up for Fajr prayer together."
This Ramadan, Abu Musa will continue to lead his family in congregational prayer. "We all sit for some time to give some Duaa or supplication, and then recite some chapters of the Holy Quran. We will follow the same in the holy month."
Cleanliness counts
Sazeedah Salim, from Kerala, India, said that initially, it was very tough for her four boys to stay home in quarantine. "The kids were not able to play outdoors or attend prayers at the masjid, specially the Friday sermon."

Salim's husband attends office virtually at 8am till 4pm and the kids attend online classes till 1pm. "Between these hours, we pray and have lunch."
"We started praying from home together in congregation, teaching the kids Quran and encouraging them to read some of the enlightening stories."
For Ramadan, the family is getting ready to clean the house together, reminding the family that 'cleanliness is half of the faith', Salim said.
"We are also planning to learn some chapters of the Quran and their translations to recite during prayer or apply them in our daily lives."
The family is also gearing up to learn lots of Duaa, Hadeeth and Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) with its meanings as part of remembrance of the Almighty, especially during Ramadan, she said.
The family wishes to act in a way that makes them responsible citizens. "We all need a plan as we play our role in staying home and be a part of containing this disease in our capacity."
"I have a hygiene plan in place and will also take this opportunity to teach the kids about healthy eating habits, and the importance of sustainable use of resources so that the future generations have enough."
This Ramadan will inculcate a sense of responsibility towards the planet in us, Salim pointed out. 
More about introspection
Mohammed Shafee Sorathia, an Indian national and Dubai resident, said this year, Ramadan will not be about socialising or cooking but more about introspection.

"I personally feel this is the time when Allah has shown the world that there is absolutely nothing that can overpower His will. Money, status, and any power which we think is above all has bowed down before His will. Therefore, this Ramadan, I am going to focus on these important life lessons I have learnt and will also be explaining the same to my three children Ayesha, 5, Abdurrazzaq, 6, Abdullah,12," he said.
His wife Almas Shafee Sorathia added: "Along with teaching them about the importance of Ramadan rituals like suhoor, iftaar, Taraweeh and the five-time prayer, I will also teach them that this phase has been sent by Allah and hopefully will pass; but for good things to happen, we need to gain proximity to God and be good human beings.
Ramadan is a month of mercy and I will make the best use it by coming together as a family and bowing our heads in front of the Almighty and seeking his forgiveness."
'Give online charity'

Abdulhafeez Jamal, a Palestinian resident, said people can also give charity online. "They can do so by sending SMS to specified numbers announced by accredited and licenced associations nationwide."
Mohammed Ibrahim, an Emirati national, said: "Though there are no mass iftars, people can offer the same as meals are going to be delivered home to the eligible people as announced by charity associations."

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