Just like it is in football, Muslims across the world who observe the month-long of fasting, prayer and reflection have had to contend with the unusual way of doing things due to the COVID-19.
The 2020 Ramadan calendar began in the evening of April 23 and ends on May 23.
There are a few players in the South African Premier Soccer League who are devoted Muslims and are in the middle observing the ninth month of the Islamic year.
One of those players is Ghanaian and Black Leopards midfielder Mumuni Abubakar who opens up to FARPost on how this period has been different compared to other months of Ramadan.
“It has been greatly different because the other years when I am in my Ramadan or when I am in fasting I will be playing football but right now I am confided in my own space,” said Abubakar.
“The only thing that I do is to work out but in my household so it is a whole different scenario and unusual, and also miss the group prayers. But football is what I breathe and what I am purposed for so I feel out of place because of not having any football commitments,” he said.
The 26-year-old says he feels privileged to be at a club where he has been accepted especially in a country dominated by Christianity.
“Normally when I am with my teammates I don’t eat what they eat, I only eat Halal food and I don’t consume alcohol. So you will find that maybe when I am in my room (during match camp) and my team mate knocks and I don’t answer, so they know that I am praying and sometimes when it’s my prayer time even during our camping session they will give me space to do what I do so I feel accepted in a country where there is Christian dominance,” said the former Mamelodi Sundowns player.
With 13 days remaining before the completion of the Ramadan period, Abubakar has urged the football fraternity to seek for Allah’s intervention during these uncertain times.
“My message is for people to know that there is Allah and his wisdom surpasses that of men. So it is time to look up to him for our protection for our well-being and for wisdom to tackle this virus, it can only be Allah who can intervene,” concluded Abubakar.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are expected to reflect spiritually, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship.
They also embark on a month-long process of fasting which begins at dawn and ends at sunset and in addition to abstaining from eating and drinking during this time, abstain from sexual relations and sinful speech and behaviour.
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By Ofhani Munyai