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Islamic cleric urges Liberian Muslims to pray for health and peace

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As Liberian Muslims join millions of their counterparts across the globe in observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan, an influential member of the Islamic community here is making a rallying call for his religious brothers and sisters to join ranks in praying for a peaceful and healthy world.

“As we begin this religiously momentum period of fasting and supplication during Ramadan , let’s pray for a healthy society and that this plague of Coronavirus may come to an end,” Sheikh Rashid A. Sheriff, Chief Imam of the Brewerville Central Mosque said in a bulletin on Thursday, 23 April.

“Ramadan is of great virtue and importance to Muslims. It is a time of intense spiritual reformation and devotion to God. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is considered one of the five pillars on which the Islamic creed or faith is demonstrated,” Imam Sherif intones.

He however observes that this year’s Ramadan takes a different dimension as Liberian Muslims will not be carrying out their regular early morning and evening prayers in their various Mosques, owing to the ravaging effects of the Coronavirus and its associated social distancing protocols.

“Under normal conditions, Muslims, in this month, Muslims would congregate in huge numbers to worship Allah (God) in various Mosques (Masajids) to unify and strengthen their spirituality and brotherhood. Families also gather to share meals. Charities are given to the poor, the scholarly Imam observes.

But he notes that this is not possible “during this period (Corona crisis) as we are obliged to adhere to the various health protocols, especially those relating to social distancing and the avoidance of large gatherings.”

Imam Sheriff then encourages Muslims to ensure the success of the month of Ramadan by following the various health protocols and support efforts for the elimination of the coronavirus.

“As we fast and pray during this period, let’s keep in our minds that we too have an obligation as citizens to collectively work together to defeat this virus,” he says.

“Achieving this goal will culminate into a victory for fasting and praying,” he adds, and advises fellow Muslims on crafting innovative ways to help people who may not have a strong understanding of the Quran during this period.

“Many of our members rely on their Imams and other family members to lead through prayers during the Ramadan. And with the lockdown, congregating at the Mosques is impossible. Therefore, we should devise innovative ways to share verses and recitations with our members as they go through the Ramadan,” Sheik Sheriff suggests.

He also encourages Liberian Muslims to continue their culture of giving alms to the less fortunate and disadvantaged in society during the Ramadan.

“During this period, many of our underprivileged members go to the Mosques in anticipation of getting assistance. But they can’t do that now due to this crisis. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us who have to share with these people by reaching out to them at their homes and other places,” he continues.

He says giving help is a core feature of Ramadan, urging Muslims not to forget about reaching out to others.“Fasting, praying and reaching out to the less fortunate should be a hallmark of this Ramadan,” he concludes.–Dispatch

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