Ramadan: The Political Activism with Piety

Ramadan Kareem greeting photo with serene mosque background with beautiful glowing lantern.

By Mohammed Khaku

For the second successive year, 1.8 billion Muslims will begin observing the holy month of Ramadan: a time of dawn-to-dusking fasting in the midst of an un precedented global pandemic.

It has been a big challenge for the community leaders to grapple with how to observe Ramadan’s rituals and celebrations in these unfamiliar times.

Last year many mosques were under lockdown. This year the new CDC guidelines on “how to open the place of worship” will include zoom and in-person participation.

For Muslims this is yet another opportunity to continue to strengthen our personal connection with the Lord, The Almighty God, even if it’s without the interaction we’re accustomed to.

It’s painful for many to welcome the glorious month of Ramadan under circumstances that limits communal iftars and congregational prayers in Mosques.

The first day of fasting for Ramadan, which is determined by the sighting of the new moon, is likely to be Tuesday, April 13th in USA.

Muslims all over USA will start fasting, give charity, endeavor for self-purification, empathy, introspection, and community involvement.

The best part the holy month is seeing community coming together, the smell of delicious food at the time of Iftars (breaking of fasts), hugging each other to welcome the holy month, sharing that Ramadan’s joy, and reciting the Quran.

Last year Holy Month of Ramadan was transformed when the Covid-19 pandemic forced many Muslims into their homes with the use of Zoom for all the rituals of the Ramadan, including the daily congregational prayers.

This year many Muslims were looking forward to breaking their fast together and going to a mosque for community prayers. However, many mosques will be open according to CDC guidelines and will require pr-registration to attend.

Muslims welcome this holy month of Ramadan as a blessing, think of how many lives have been loss due to the pandemic. The fact is we are still alive to celebrate another holy month, we should be thankful to Allah (God) for that.

May Allah give us good health with long life that we are able to celebrate many more years of Holy month Ramadan.

Ramadan is the month fasting, giving charity, reading the Holy Qur’an, and striving to get closer to Allah.

The month of Ramadan has two sides: The prophetic which is the side that advocates for social justice, and the spiritual side, Taqwa (piety). And both justice and piety verses are numerously mentioned holy text, the Qur’an.

During the 23 years that the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, he united the Muslim communities, raised the status of women, restored social justice, and purified the land of false idol worship.

Political activism is encouraged in Islam with numerous verses, narrations, and literature. Muslim have duty to always stand on the side of the oppressed and speak truth to the power.

Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Imam Khomeini all encourage activism to bring about change or revolution which was neither Protestant nor Catholic, nor Sunni or Shi’ism.

Christianity and Islam in its essence, both transcends in the belief of liberation of humanity from slavery, poverty, ignorance and oppression.