Although tens of millions of people around the world are already vaccinated, the COVID-19 pandemic is still in full swing. Coronavirus cases are rising again in much of the world. More transmittable variants, rather than changes in behavior, are largely to blame for the third wave of the pandemic.
Ramadan 2021 is likely to be different because of ongoing lockdown restrictions in many parts of the world. For Muslims all over the world, this could be devastating as many of them may be banned from attending iftars,itikafs, and Taraweeh prayers in masjids during the upcoming Ramadan in their countries. Egypt has already banned people from performing any such practices in Ramadan. Many other countries may follow the suit soon.
Nouh al-Issawi, a deputy Awqaf Minister of Egypt, said that in an attempt to curb the COVID-19 disease, mosques are not allowed to host Itikaf and Iftar gatherings in the holy month of Ramadan. Al-Issawi also said mosques that fail to observe the health protocols in Ramadan will be closed by the Egyptian Awqaf Ministry.
Religious scholars and medical professionals from all over the world have urged caution amid the pandemic on eve of Ramadan. They have called for compliance to official precautions on fasting, prayers ahead of the holy month of Ramadan starting in mid-April.
According to media reports, UAE has announced rules and restrictions for Ramadan. Dubai has already banned iftar tents, and, large social gatherings.
Last year, mosques in many countries were closed. However, this year, it may be a little easier. But, Muslim worshippers are still urged to strictly follow rules and restrictions imposed by their governments or their local mosque committees.
We strongly believe that, although a large number of Muslims will be able to perform these activities in masjids if they are able to contain the third wave of the COVID-19, still many others may be banned due to the on-going pandemic in thee countries.