Ramzan 2020: The moon has been sighted, announcing the onset of Ramzan -- the holy month of fasting. Both the Shia and Sunni moon committees confirmed sighting the moon and said that the first Roza of the month will be on April 25. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari and Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri mosque Mufti Mukarram Ahmed also said the moon was sighted and the fasting will start from Saturday. They appealed to Muslims to perform all rituals and prayers at home during Ramzan while adhering to social distancing and lockdown norms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended greetings and prayed for everyone's safety amid an ongoing battle against COVID-19.
"Ramzan Mubarak! I pray for everyone’s safety, well-being, and prosperity. May this Holy Month bring with it abundance of kindness, harmony, and compassion. May we achieve a decisive victory in the ongoing battle against COVID-19 and create a healthier planet," the prime minister said in a tweet.
In Kerala and some parts of Karnataka, the moon was sighted on Thursday. There was no rush to the mosques or on streets as Muslims quietly welcomed the holy month with a prayer on their lips for the safety of their loved ones in the wake of the pandemic. People greeted each other on phone and made preparations at home for sehri (meal before beginning of fasting).
It is for the first time that Ramzan is beginning around the world amid global lockdowns and bans on mass gathering in wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Committees in India have appealed people to offer prayers in their homes and not venture out.
Ramzan is believed to be the time when people come closer to God. One of the main reasons for observing it is to remember the sufferings of those underprivileged and less fortunate. During the holy month, people donate alms to the poor as well. Once the period of fasting is over, Eid-il-Fitr is celebrated with joy and fervor. However, this time around the celebrations may be different as people are advised to remain indoors and maintain the norms of social distancing.
(With PTI inputs)