The blessed month of Ramadaan is upon us and this year it will be completely different to anything we’ve ever experienced before.
We find ourselves in a national lockdown, not being able to move around freely and some of us sukkeling to focus on preparing for this blessed month.
This is usually a time of the year when the Muslim community in Cape Town goes bos and shop till we drop, trying to get the best bargains, and the lekker treats we so love innie pwasa.
One good thing about the lockdown in this case is that for the first time in years, some families will be fasting together for the entire 30 days in one house, all day long.
For those who used to be at work, they can now make all their salalah on time, while also having the time to recite the holy Qur’an, without being distracted.
No more rushing home at night in traffic to try and make boeka time, and then being too exhausted to make the 20 raka’ahs of Taraweegh prayers.
I’ve heard so many boetas en tieties previously express their wish to be able to from home or even take off during Ramadaan.
Now their wish has been granted, so for these mense, the lockdown is indeed a blessing in disguise.
I spoke to actress Jill Levenberg who plays the role of Mymoena, a Muslim woman, in the popular soapie Suidooster last week, and she is using the lockdown as a time to do some spiritual cleansing of herself.
She’s been catching up on her reading and even quit smoking since the lockdown started.
Jill has also been fasting as part of her dietary and exercise plans for the lockdown.
I hope Jill’s lockdown goals can inspire us to enter the month of Ramadaan with a positive mindset so that we may reap all the blessings of this month.
The lockdown will, however, change some of the cultural traditions in the Cape.
Obviously, nobody will be taking koekies to the neighbours because we are practising social distancing and also, the police and army will arrest you for violating regulations by being on the road.
I’m going to miss getting and taking out bordjies, because this year I wanted to introduce my laaitie to this beautiful practice.
You see, in this way, we ensure that all our neighbours have something to break their fast with.
With the masjids also closed, it’s going to be strange not being able make Taraweegh.
But because it’s not an obligatory prayer, we can do this in our homes, and I for one, think it’s a stunning opportunity for dads and husbands to take the lead en staan voor vir hulle families.
Another aspect that I’m going to miss is the mass community boekas which has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years.
This was a way for the Cape Malay community to showcase the true beauty of Ramadaan, promoting neighbourliness and again, making sure that everyone has a bite to eat.
But just because we can’t physically give our koekies doesn’t mean we can’t help people.
Many organisations have permission to carry on their services, so donate your money to an NGO/NPO or mosque in your area, who will in turn ensure that someone will get fed.
Ramadaan is known for its spirit of giving and this is one way you can contribute to keeping that spirit alive.
Let us all pray for this lockdown to come to an end soon, but remember that will only happen when we start winning the fight against the Coronavirus.
So please, obey the lockdown rules and regulations and let us enter Ramadaan with the knowledge that we are all doing our part to keep our nation safe.
So from my family to yours, Ramadaan Kareem.