Moslems in Ghana have today joined other adherents of the Islam faith around the world to begin a period of fasting commonly called Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting which begins and ends with the appearance of the new moon.
It is a time for spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship and abstinence from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk.
They are also engage in rigorous congregational prayers, iftar (breaking of fast), tefsir, and abstain from sexual relations and sinful speech and behavior.
Some Muslim have shared with the Ghana News Agency their expectation and resolutions for this year’s Ramadan, especially since last year’s fast was characterized with a lot of restrictions due to the COVID-19 and absence of the euphoria associated with the commemoration of the holy month.
Mr Mashood Lamptey, an Accountant, said he was grateful to the Almighty Allah for making him witness another Ramadan, and was hopeful that at the end of the fast, he would attain the utmost level of faith, perform more of good deeds in order to get closer to Allah.
He said it was his hope to experience the togetherness which eluded Muslims by way of congregational prayers, iftar, taraweeh prayers and the Eid celebration last year because of the pandemic.
Mr Malik Suleimana, a Media Practitioner, told the Ghana News Agency that he hoped to increase his good deeds by at least two folds, during this Ramadan.
He said there might not be a significant difference from last year’s Ramadan because “we are still being told to keep our guard up and observe all the safety protocols.
“This, would obviously affect the way we congregate, worship and socially interact. But the good news is that nothing can stop the Muslim from seeking benediction and getting closer to Allah, so let us strive to be better Muslims during this time.”
Hajia Mariama Obeng, a Teacher, said she expected a fruitful Ramadan, with the blessings and mercies of Allah, and prayed for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we are going to fast for 29 or 30 days, by the will of Allah, we must endeavour to thank and praise him more especially for favouring us to witness the beginning of the holy month, we pray for Him to favour us to see the end of month,” she said.
She told the Ghana News Agency she had resolved to remain steadfast with her prayers, to be able to memorize some chapters of the Quran and supplications of the Prophets and to correct some mistakes she has been committing and to seek forgiveness from Allah.
Mr Abdul Salam Tackie, an Insurance broker, thanked Allah for allowing him to witness another Ramadan, saying last year’s Ramadan was quite unique as much of the period of the fasting was spent at home with close relations offering congregational prayers together.
He said “one of the biggest lessons last year taught me was to regularly have occasional congregational prayers with close family relations and have an open chat about any aspect of the religion afterwards.”
However, he was hopeful that by the will of Allah, with the roll out of the vaccination, the COVID-19 situation would greatly improve over the course of the month and it would be easier to offer congregational prayers in larger groups whilst observing the necessary protocols.
“We pray that Allah accepts our fast and grant us Jannat (paradise) out of his abundant mercy, and going forward for Him to grant us the strength to continuously adhere to all the good habits we learn during this Ramadan for the rest of our lives.”
Mr Suleiman Baiden, an Enterpreneur, said he had resolved to build on the positive attitude from last year, finishing the Qur’an, do more remembrance of Allah, and more ibadat. “I hope to grow in the areas of spirituality, physically, emotionally, psychology and all the aspects needed for a healthy being.”
Hajia Sadia Akosua Abdallah, however thought that going into this year’s Ramadan was almost like that of 2020, saying “I am going into this year’s Ramadan playing safe, and abstaining from all gathering and choosing to stay closer with family.
She said “because the pandemic is still hovering around, she has not given it much attention. Still observing the necessary protocols and not making a mountain out of it. I think the pandemic has become an accepted norm and we are leading our lives in caution.”
She thanked Allah for counting them amongst those who initiate this month of Bliss, and prayed for His forgiveness for their shortcomings, and to acceptance of their Ibadat. “Ramadan is a time to renew our faith in Allah and aspire to reach a higher level in our relationship with Him. So we pray for that, global healing and peace.”
Source: Ghana News Agency