LETTER | Ramadan and MCO can co-exist beautifully

Khor Swee Kheng


LETTER |  We write this as scholars of Islam, family physicians, pharmacists, medical doctors and public health specialists. The Covid-19 pandemic will not only impact Malaysia medically but also emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.

The holy months of Ramadan and Syawal will soon be upon us. As a nation, Malaysia must soon make very difficult choices. 

Should we hold Ramadan bazaars, tarawih prayers or balik kampung? Can we follow our religious, community or family traditions, or must we change our practices?

As your brothers and sisters, we offer our thoughts to you with humility, respect and sincerity. All of us play multiple roles at the same time, we are Muslims or adherents to other religions.

We are health professionals at the frontlines, and we are your fellow Malaysians. We want the best health for you and your families, in physical, emotional, spiritual and religious ways.

We hope that the movement control order (MCO) will end soon, and that everyone will remain healthy. However, if the MCO should be extended for public health reasons, we believe that the spirit of Ramadan can co-exist with the extended MCO, in several ways.

One, Ramadan is a beautiful spiritual experience of reflection, sacrifice and community. Ramadan binds families and the Ummah together and bind us with Allah SWT. 

During this ongoing pandemic, Ramadan is more special because it reminds us of our duty to our fellow human beings.

This is an opportunity to live the spirit of Ramadan by giving to and looking after those who are less fortunate and under difficult circumstances during the MCO.

Two, during this year’s Ramadan and Syawal, we will have to celebrate differently from previous years. It will be difficult for many of our family and friends. 

That is why we should celebrate the spirit of Ramadan by helping as many as we can, by protecting them and reducing our physical contact with them, especially our elderly.

We may not need bazaars, group prayers or balik kampung to celebrate Ramadan and Syawal this year. Tarawih and Maghrib prayers can be at home. We can still celebrate the spirit of Islam, only in different ways. This will be our sacrifice this Ramadan.

Three, Islam and all religions want their adherents to be healthy and to consider the community interest. Ramadan and the MCO can co-exist. 

We can fulfil our intentions and the spirit of Ramadan, only in different but equally beautiful ways.

We wish Malaysia a beautiful and deeply spiritual Ramadan.

Dr Abdul Halim Shibghatullah, Dr Ahmad Faidhi Mohd Zaini, Dr Jeffrey Abu Hassan, Dr Khor Swee Kheng, Prof Dr Lokman Hakim, A/Prof Dr Mohammad Husni Jamal, Dr Mujahid Bakar, Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar, Prof Dr Zaleha Abdullah Mahdy, Dr Zarihah Zain and Amrahi Buang.

The views expressed here are those of the authors/contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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