Like many Muslims, my personal faith and spirituality are directly linked to communal practices such as the Friday prayer and the Eid celebrations. For that reason, the lockdown in Covid-19 has been challenging in that I along with many others have had to double down on individual and personal practices and lieu of the regular communal exercises like the Friday prayer.
Thankfully, there are plenty of means that my religion provides to me which allow me to maintain my connection to it even without direct social and communal contact which I have taken into consideration. Ramadan was particularly different as it was done entirely during the lockdown and did not allow me to attend communal prayers or breakings of the fast.
Facing the reality of lockdown, I knew I had to double down on my own personal practices if I was to attain the same benefit I got from Islam in the past. For one, I made it a point to maintain a personal regiment of regular Qur’an recitation which included memorization and recitation of certain passages from memory such as surah al-Ikhlas and Ayat al Kursi. I even found that doing so alone allowed me to fulfill the Qur’anic injunction of pondering and reflecting over god’s word as opposed to mere recitation without considering the meaning.
I knew that by social distancing I was actually helping to fulfill an objective of faith which was to keep myself and others safe from an imminent threat even if it meant losing out on some of the communal spirit of Ramadan and congregational prayers.
After all, the Qur’an even allows Muslims to eat meat that would otherwise be haram if compelled by necessity to do so. Furthermore, most of the Islamic practices can be observed individually or at home including the five daily prayers and recitation of the Quran.
Furthermore, I made it a point to participate in the variety of virtual options for Ramadan that showed themselves to me in these extraordinary circumstances. Thankfully, as the lockdown eases I have maintained a substantial level of spirituality allowing me to re-enter communal religious practice without much difficulty.