For many years, the Holy Month of Ramadan has traditionally been the time of maximum activities for both the Ukrainian and the international Muslim communities. The Muslims try their best to do as much good deeds as possible during this blessed month, including self-improvement and character building. Besides, Ramadan is traditionally the time of the utmost consolidation of the believers, promoted by community taraweeh prayers at mosques, and community iftars. But this year, everything has changed. The planet’s 1.5 billion Muslim population welcomed Ramadan under quarantine, with their mosques closed and public iftars cancelled, and people self-isolating regardless of their faith.
The Ukrainian Muslim community faced such an unusual Ramadan for the first time since the country’s Independence. We already wrote about the reaction of different Muslim communities on the enfonced quarantine. However, back then nobody could imagine that the quarantine would last 2 month, and that most of Ramadan and perhaps even Eid al-Fitr will be under such conditions. When that became clear, the Muslims had to somehow react.
Thus, the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine “Umma” announced that no public prayers, including both regular and taraweeh prayers, would be held at their mosques; no public iftars would be held as well. In their video congratulations upon the arrival of the Holy month of Ramadan, the Imams called upon the believers to perform all the necessary sermons at home, including taraweeh, and also to strengthen their family ties. Some of their religious and educational activities went online, with lessons and lectures recorded by Imams uploaded and streamed on the Administration’s official Youtube channel and Facebook. Weekly Friday preachings by Mufti Said Ismagilov are streamed online as well.
All-Ukainian Association “Alraid”, in view of quarantine, launched a food aid benefit for the needy at an unprecedented scale. Volunteers of Islamic Cultural Centres in different cities buy, pack and deliver grocery packs for hundreds of Muslim families. The initiative was launched before Ramadan, but the arrival of the Holy Month made it even more scale. Noteworthy, RAMU “Umma” wouldn’t stay aside and also conducted research among their parishioners to discover those in need and sign them in the food aid programme. The list includes needy people and lonely elderly people, whom they deliver food packs so they can have full meals after each day of fasting. The initiative covered almost every region of Ukraine, From Lviv to Severodonetsk, From Kyiv to Novooleksiivka (Kherson region). Unfortunately, Ukrainian Muslims are unable to help their brothers and sisters in faith on the occupied territories.
However, the charity wasn’t limited to helping Muslims only; grocery packs and medical masks were delivered to several medical facilities in Kyiv.
Thus, Ukrainian Muslims managed to maintain that special consolidation typical for the Holy Month of Ramadan, by helping and supporting one another. And although the month of fasting is likely to be observed during quarantine, they still hope to gather on the day of Eid. At least, the Government's announcements give hope.