The Islamic holy month of Ramadan will be observed differently around the world this year as Muslims maintain practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Community is one of the most important parts of Ramadan, along with fasting, prayer, charity and personal reflection.
Traditionally the month ends with the celebratory feast Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of daily fasting.
Westmead and Auburn hospitals registrar Dr Md Tariqul Alam Khan said he will be making some changes to stay safe during Ramadan.
“This is a holy month for all Muslims and usually we pray together in the mosque and break our fast together each evening. It is a time of joy and happiness as we expect mercy from Allah, but now we can’t enjoy that together,” Dr Khan said.
“I have been praying alone and breaking fast with my wife. I’m grateful the restrictions are lifting, and in a few weeks we may see some friends, but for now we’re maintaining our precautions in order to protect our two-year-old son.
“Our prophet taught us to self-isolate during a plague. We should do the same now during this pandemic.”
Dr Khan said despite some rumours spreading online, there is no evidence that fasting makes people more susceptible to infections including COVID-19.
Adults who are unwell or vulnerable are not required to fast, including the elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding mothers and diabetics.
While some restrictions were eased last week, people should continue to exercise care – especially when visiting anyone over 70.
Anyone who is sick with any flu-like symptoms should stay home and arrange to be tested for COVID-19. Symptoms include:
- Tiredness (fatigue)
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
For health advice, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or healthdirect 1800 022 222.