Celebrating Ramadan during the Circuit Breaker

Ramadan during the Circuit Breaker
Image credit (clockwise from top left): Zakat.SG, @ohhkookies.kualalumpur, @salianamurni, @halalmediajapan

Ramadan is an important time for Muslims worldwide. Other than observing strict fasting and abstaining from negative vices, a big part of the holy month involves Muslims being able to break fast with their friends and family each day.

Given the Circuit Breaker situation, Singaporean Muslims won’t be able to visit their extended families, local mosques, or head to annual bazaars due to social-distancing measures. Although this year’s Ramadan is definitely different, it doesn’t hurt to switch up your regular routine with these 10 ways to keep the Ramadan spirit going.

1. Buy Raya clothes online

adrianna yariqa
Image credit: @adriannayariqa

Celebrating Hari Raya at home doesn’t mean that you don’t have to doll up for the occasion. Getting new baju kurung (traditional Malay outfits) is probably one of the most important things to get other than kuih and green packets.

With social distancing in full force, we can’t head out to buy new Raya clothes this year. But, local brands like Adrianna Yariqa and Lully Selb are bringing their baju kurung online for Muslims to shop while staying safe at home. 

You can find chic, colourful designs and matching baju Melayu for the whole family while supporting local brands.

2. Bake kuih at home

baking kuih at home
Image credit: @ohhkookies.kualalumpur

We can’t go house hopping this year but we can still create a festive ambience on Hari Raya with an assortment of kuih at home. Since kuih is the staple snack for the whole month of celebrations, round up your fam and whip up a few batches to savour at home. It’s a great family bonding activity too.

home-based bakeries
Image credit: @homesweetoven

If you don’t have an oven to bake these delicious snacks, you can pre-order them from home-based bakeries that are slated to open on 12th May 2020. Bakeries like Batter Halves and Home Sweet Oven are currently taking pre-orders, so your festivities aren’t disrupted.

3. Shop at an online bazaar

geylang bazaar
Get bazaar goods online

Since the Geylang Bazaar is closed due to COVID-19, vendors have found an alternative to let people shop while being safe at home. Besides Geylang Bazaar going online, other online bazaars such as eBazaar and Celebfest are here to supply you with your Raya shopping needs. 

There’s more to these bazaars than just men and women’s Raya clothes. Geylang Bazaar Online hooks you up with cookware, while eBazaar has baby Raya rompers on sale. 

Celebfest also has a lineup of famous celebs going on Facebook Live as well as IG Live to hold talks about their everyday lives. Get your laptops out to indulge in online bazaar shopping while you watch star-studded live streams throughout Ramadan.

4. Have online iftar sessions with friends

zoom iftar sessions during ramadan
Image credit: @halalmediajapan

Going out for Iftar (a breaking fast meal) with your pals and extended family is usually a yearly affair for some. Some prefer the classic restos peppered around Haji Lane while others take this opportunity to uncover new hangout joints. But the Circuit Breaker doesn’t have to mean that these Iftar sessions need to end.

You and your friends can order some mains, bring your phone or laptop to the dining table, and catch up with your loved ones using video call apps like Skype and Zoom. You can also take turns treating each other to meals by ordering them for your friends before it’s time to break fast. 

5. Attend online religious lessons

online religious lessons
Image credit: @salianamurni

For those who attend religious classes regularly, either at home or at a nearby mosque, you’d know that all classroom-based training is halted due to Circuit Breaker measures. However, online arrangements have been made to ensure that religious education won’t be hindered during Ramadan.

Sites like Learn Islam SG and mosques like Masjid Maarof have Facebook Live sessions as well as Zoom lessons to continue classes online, from live Q&As to lectures about Quranic studies. To add-on, these Live sessions are free for all to watch and learn.

6. Make zakat online

Zakat helps beneficiaries like the needy and the destitute
Image adapted from: Zakat.SG 

Zakat is a form of Islamic social justice where wealth is distributed as a form of purification. The word Zakat refers to purifying one’s assets by donating a portion of one’s wealth to give to charitable causes. Other than keeping Muslims away from greed, Zakat benefits both the giver and the receiver. 

Usually, people make Zakat at mosques but now, you can do so remotely online. MUIS and the Sultan Mosque are just 2 of the many organisations and mosques that have online Zakat collections. So you can continue doing acts of selflessness even while social distancing.

7. Donate a meal to those in need

donating a meal zakat
Image adapted from: Global Ehsan Relief

Zakat isn’t just limited to monetary donations as it can also branch out to donations of Iftar food packs and groceries for Sahur (pre-dawn meal). As the month of Ramadan is an opportunity for Muslims to give back to charity and show generosity, donating food is another way to help out those who don’t have enough to eat during Iftar and Sahur

If you’d like to donate, organisations like Global Ehsan Relief and Jamiyah Singapore have gathered food sets for the needy. After you make your donation, these organisations will bring the donated food packs to the needy in the different countries they help sponsor, from neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia to countries further away like Afghanistan and Gaza.

8. Pray Tarawih at home

Tarawih in Arabic means “rest and relaxation”, which refers to the prayerful rest after a long day of fasting. Even though we can’t go to the mosque to perform the prayer with other Muslims, it is definitely okay to do it at home alone, with your spouse, and as a family. The following video shows how to do the prayer at home.

How to Pray Taraweeh at Home
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How to Pray Taraweeh at Home

Ramadan in 2020

Some may be bummed at how they can’t celebrate Ramadan to its full extent this year. But others consider the Circuit Breaker as a blessing in disguise to stay at home and spend quality time with the family like having Iftar and praying together during the holy month. 

Ramadan this time round might be a solitary one, but it’s not impossible to shift your usual Iftar outings and Raya clothes shopping online. We can still maintain the Ramadan spirit, even if it’s a virtual experience. 

Check out more of our other articles about Islam and this year’s Ramadan here: