Muslims in Cameroon and beyond are into their third day of fast in this month long Ramadan.
For the first time in the history of Ramadan, they won’t be able to converge in their numbers at the usual prayer grounds, mosques due to the ravaging world pandemic, CoronaVirus.
Ramadan is the most cherish period for the believers as they believe their prayers and supplication are specially answered by Allah (God). Thus, have resorted to prayers in their respective homes.
A Douala base muslim identified as Jumai told News Upfront “during Ramadan, we muslims always comes together and pray in the mosque but due to this pandemic the Muslim body has suspended praying in the mosque.”
“Ramadan means everything to me. Its a month of abundant blessing, training, answering prayers, sharing and abundant worship as it takes us closer to God,” said Rakas another faithful.
“We embraced it with joy despite coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, we are going to take it to the end by Allah grace,” he said.
The fasting will last for 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon and begins from cockcrow to dusk daily. The followers of Islamic religion pray five times a day.
“I wake up at 2am do some ablutions and observe prayers, do Quran recitation till 3.30Am when i prepare something for the family to eat before its 5Am,” a Muslim woman said.
Faithfuls have decried difficulties they face in securing necessary items for the fast.
“Because of this pandemic and partial lockdown, things are very scarce in the market and too expensive. Even if markets are opening, we still fines it difficult to buy because of insufficient finance.”
During fasting, Muslims are compelled by the Holy Book to abstain from sexual acts, eating and drinking or anything considered as sinful.
All Muslims even the young as of ten and above observe the yearly doctrine also considered as one of the 6 pillars of Islam.
Any girl who has started seeing her menstrual flow is obliged to fast while her male counterparts do same upon reaching puberty.
However children as young as 7years are free to fast for half day.
2020 Ramadan will be remembered as the first ever Ramadan which Muslims won’t be able to gather in their usual numbers at place of worship due to the ban of gatherings of over 50 persons in Cameroon to contain the spread. “Its unfortunate that this coronavirus could not allow us go to mosque.”
This fasting is often culminated in a feast called Feast of the Ramadan.
By Macwalter Njapteh