Platforms Montessori School, Ota, Southwest Nigeria, mulls free medical test, drugs, Iftar at annual Ramadan programme planned to be in full adherence to COVID-19 protocols
There are less than 4 days until April 11, 2021, which has been picked as the day to look for the Crescent of the month of Ramadan 2021.
With this, preparations have begun in the Muslim World for the month of sacred fasting, which must have begun in the next five days (120 hours).
Adherents of Islam constitute the world’s second largest religious group. According to a study in 2015, Islam has 1.8 billion adherents, making up about 24.1% of the world population.
In Nigeria, the government task force on COVID-19 has mulled the plans to meet with Islamic organisations on how to ensure adherence to protocols and guidelines during the holy month and beyond.
Islamic organisations and schools, on the other hand, are beginning to line up activities to mark the month in which the third pillar of Islam is observed.
The Platforns Montessori School, Ota (Facebook: @ThePMSOta) has, in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tradition, announced plans to give free medical test, drugs and Iftar (food to break the fasting) at its annual Ramadan programme slated for Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Announcing the date for the programme, Proprietress of the school, Hajjia Fateemah Adeola-Yusuf, said that this year’s edition of the event tagged; “At a Time Like This” will also feature Tafsir titled; “Al-Istiqama” by Sheikh Abdul Waheed AbdulMajeed Eleha as well as Health Talks by a group of Medical doctors who would be at hand to offer free medical check up for participants.
Over 550 people benefited from two previous editions held by the school.
“We have lined up a lot of programmes for the event this year and our hope is that Allah should accept eveything from us as Ibadah,” she said.
The programme, which started in 2018 catered for over 200 people while it also catered for 350 people in the 2019 edition.
“As a school that makes safety and security priorities, we in 2020 rested the programme in total compliance to the Federal Government’s protocols on COVID-19. Despite that, this years edition will still be held under strict adherence to the protocols,” she said.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is also monitoring the latest developments in plans for organizing the upcoming Haj pilgrimage season.
Over 95,000 foreign Umrah pilgrims have traveled to Saudi Arabia to date.
A virtual seminar focused on Saudi efforts for serving Haj and Umrah pilgrims during the coronavirus pandemic was attended by a number of senior officials that included Asir Governor Prince Turki bin Talal.
Ministers and officials who partook in the event hailed Saudi Arabia’s ability to secure and provide comprehensive care for visitors and pilgrims despite the challenges facing the world today.
In his opening speech at the symposium, Medina Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman confirmed that Saudi Arabia, since its inception, has shown keenness and dedication to providing visitors and pilgrims with ultimate care.
He also noted that Saudi Arabia’s proactive and preventative measures, that included suspending Umrah, have proved successful in stemming the spread of the corona-virus at a time when most countries were struggling with the pandemic.
Prince Faisal noted that restrictions are now being eased, and that pilgrims began to flock to the kingdom once again.
Reason fasting is prescribed
Praise be to Allah.
Firstly we must note that one of the names of Allaah is al-Hakeem (the Most Wise). The word Hakeem is derived from the same root as hukm (ruling) and hikmah (wisdom). Allaah alone is the One Who issues rulings, and His rulings are the most wise and perfect.
Allaah does not prescribe any ruling but there is great wisdom behind it, which we may understand, or our minds may not be guided to understand it. We may know some of it but a great deal is hidden from us.
Allaah has mentioned the reason and wisdom behind His enjoining of fasting upon us, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)”
Fasting is a means of attaining taqwa (piety, being conscious of Allaah), and taqwa means doing that which Allaah has enjoined and avoiding that which He has forbidden.
Fasting is one of the greatest means of helping a person to fulfil the commands of Islam.
The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) have mentioned some of the reasons why fasting is prescribed, all of which are characteristics of taqwa, but there is nothing wrong with quoting them here, to draw the attention of fasting people to them and make them keen to attain them.
Among the reasons behind fasting are:
1 – Fasting is a means that makes us appreciate and give thanks for pleasures. For fasting means giving up eating, drinking and intercourse, which are among the greatest pleasures. By giving them up for a short time, we begin to appreciate their value. Because the blessings of Allaah are not recognized, but when you abstain from them, you begin to recognize them, so this motivates you to be grateful for them.
2 – Fasting is a means of giving up haraam things, because if a person can give up halaal things in order to please Allaah and for fear of His painful torment, then he will be more likely to refrain from haraam things. So fasting is a means of avoiding the things that Allaah has forbidden.
3 – Fasting enables us to control our desires, because when a person is full his desires grow, but if he is hungry then his desire becomes weak. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O young men! Whoever among you can afford to get married, let him do so, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and protecting one’s chastity. Whoever cannot do that, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.”
4 – Fasting makes us feel compassion and empathy towards the poor, because when the fasting person tastes the pain of hunger for a while, he remembers those who are in this situation all the time, so he will hasten to do acts of kindness to them and show compassion towards them. So fasting is a means of feeling empathy with the poor.
5 – Fasting humiliates and weakens the Shaytaan; it weakens the effects of his whispers (waswaas) on a person and reduces his sins.
That is because the Shaytaan “flows through the son of Adam like blood” as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, but fasting narrows the passages through which the Shaytaan flows, so his influence grows less.
Shaykh al-Islam said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa.
Undoubtedly blood is created from food and drink, so when a person eats and drinks, the passages through which the devils flow – which is the blood – become wide. But if a person fasts, the passages through which the devils flow become narrow, so hearts are motivated to do good deeds, and to give up evil deeds.
6 – The fasting person is training himself to remember that Allaah is always watching, so he gives up the things that he desires even though he is able to take them, because he knows that Allaah can see him.
7 – Fasting means developing an attitude of asceticism towards this world and its desires, and seeking that which is with Allaah.
8 – It makes the Muslim get used to doing a great deal of acts of worship, because the fasting person usually does more acts of worship and gets used to that.
These are some of the reasons why fasting is enjoined. We ask Allaah to help us to achieve them and to worship Him properly.
And Allaah knows best.