Nurturing the Community

24 Apr 2020 3 min read

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Muslims all over the world welcome the holy month of Ramadan today, which marks the start of our fast.

The COVID-19 crisis has jolted many communities including Muslims – they are not able to celebrate significant events such as Ramadan in the traditional way. We have to observe social distancing measures, even among our loved ones, so that everyone can be safe.  

All these years, during the month of Ramadan, families and friends would gather to break fast together. This tradition is practised by poor and rich alike. Indeed this is the month of the year when everyone is more ‘together’ than ever. We would witness the community taking the extra effort to go beyond and reach out to the vulnerable, to assure them that the community cares and that they are not alone.  But the COVID-19 menace has forced us to seriously and diligently observe the circuit breaker measures.

Fortunately, it is still possible, with some adjustments to have a fulfilling and meaningful Ramadan. An alternative to the usual gathering in bazaars can be through supporting our local businesses via online transactions. We can also participate in a collaboration between MUIS, Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI), People’s Association (PA) and Roses of Peace volunteers in the SGUnited Buka Puasa to donate food takeaways to vulnerable families with contactless delivery for their buka puasa. This generous act of giving should be extended to beyond Muslims. This is how we look out for one another, regardless of race or religion.

Our mosques, churches and temples are all closed, but this need not stop us from being stronger in spirit and in faith.

Our asatizah networks have been active in keeping up with spiritual guidance and teachings for the Muslim community, reaching them through various online content and platforms.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced earlier this week that the circuit breaker measures will be extended by another four weeks. This is important for us to ensure that community spread is controlled and accounted for.

It was a rough start for all of us when the circuit breaker measures were implemented, as we all had to get used to the new normal. But I am encouraged to see that we are coming to terms with the necessary adjustments and making good progress at continuing with our daily lives as we stay home. We must do more for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones and for Singapore. We are also slowly seeing the effects of the circuit breaker measures but we need to make sure that transmissions of the virus is completely eradicated, and that is why these measures have been extended.

We have shown time and again how we are able to rise up from challenges and I think we are on track to be able to emerge stronger, as a country and a society to do even better for our future.

Stay home, stay safe and have a happy and blessed Ramadan to all our Muslim friends.


Hari ini, kita menyambut bulan suci Ramadan, Alhamdulillah. Ramadan kali ini berbeza sekali  bukan sahaja bagi masyarakat Islam Singapura tetapi di seluruh dunia ekoran wabak COVID-19.

Malah sejak wabak ini menular, semua masyarakat terpaksa membuat keputusan yang sukar seperti menutup rumah ibadah masing-masing dan membuat penyesuaian dalam menyambut acara penting seperti sambutan Good Friday oleh penganut Kristian dan Tahun Baru bagi orang India baru-baru ini.

Begitulah juga bagi masyarakat Islam dalam menyambut bulan Ramadan dan juga Syawal kali ini, memandangkan langkah pemutus rantaian jangkitan virus ini telah dilanjutkan hingga 1 Jun. Saya faham kita agak terkilan kerana tiada bubur masjid, berbuka puasa, bertarawih dan bertadarus berjemaah di masjid, dan tidak akan dapat berkumpul beramai-ramai dengan keluarga dan rakan-rakan seperti tahun-tahun sudah. Tetapi saya tersentuh dan bangga bahawa masyarakat kita memahami betapa gentingnya cabaran yang Singapura dan negara-negara dunia sedang alami ekoran penularan wabak ini.

Semua ini boleh kita lakukan di rumah bersama keluarga terdekat kita dan memanfaatkan teknologi untuk terus mengeratkan silaturahim dan mendapatkan ilmu menerusi tazkirah dan kandungan lain secara dalam talian. Di Singapura, kita juga amat bertuah, mempunyai rangkaian asatizah yang bertauliah. Dalam masa kita mengharungi krisis ini, mereka berusaha gigih untuk membimbing masyarakat kita dengan pelbagai inisiatif digital.

Semua bisnes yang menyediakan keperluan penting seperti makanan dan bank masih dibuka. Dengan itu, tidak perlu kita risau dan tergesa-gesa malah kita boleh menyokong peniaga tempatan kita melalui pesanan dalam talian.

Walaupun masjid ditutup buat sementara, saya harap masyarakat kita tidak putus menyokong  masjid-masjid di Singapura. Teruskan menderma dengan seikhlas hati sebagai amal jariah anda agar masjid-masjid kita dapat berfungsi khususnya bagi membantu golongan yang memerlukan. Anda juga boleh membayar zakat fitrah secara online. Begitu juga kita boleh menderma kepada Dana Rahmatan lil Alamin yang akan mendana pembahagian makanan kepada yang memerlukan dan pekerja barisan hadapan yang bertugas melawan wabak ini setiap hari termasuk di bulan Ramadan.

Pokoknya, walaupun pada zahirnya Ramadan kali ini berbeza berbanding tahun-tahun lalu, ia tidak semestinya kurang bermakna jika diisi dengan sebaik-baiknya sambil kita bersungguh-sungguh mematuhi langkah-langkah pemutus rantaian jangkitan COVID-19. 

Semoga kegigihan kita menjalankan ibadah dalam bulan yang mulia ini dan memastikan semua selamat, kita akan beroleh manfaatnya kelak. Saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadan kepada semua umat Islam di Singapura.

Image from Minister Masagos’s Facebook