Ramadan’s climax is going to be a quiet affair this year for Muslims around the world, writes Taylor Edgar.

Typically, the end of the iftar fast is a time for people to visit family and friends, and return to their hometowns.

But this year, Covid-19 is ensuring the festivities are going to be at home or online.

In the Pakistani city of Bahawalpur, 19-year-old Mian Adil is riding out the lockdown and hoping that when the pandemic is eventually defeated, the Prime Minister, Imran Khan will step up.

Like many in the Asian country, Mian is looking to the government to provide the necessary economic stimulus to get Pakistan back on the right financial track.

Mian, a freelance online worker, told welovestornoway: “We are all at home fighting Covid-19 by following the instructions. We are in lockdown in our homes to control this Covid-19 pandemic in my country.

“Due to the lockdown, we are all losing out on our studies and losing all our savings. Covid-19 has a terrible impact not just here in Pakistan, but all over the world.”

Testing in Pakistan has confirmed over 20,000 cases so far, with over 5,114 people recovering from the virus. Sadly, there have been 457 deaths, a figure that is expected to rise in this country of 220 million.

The Covid-19 lockdown in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the fifth most populous country in the world, is particularly keenly felt as it coincides with Ramadan. This time of fasting has always been accompanied by offering prayers at the mosque.  This year has seen the Covid-19 lockdown ban gatherings at mosques. So, too, has been the tradition of visiting family and friends. This activity has been prohibited to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Nevertheless, Mian remains focussed on the future and what happens to the economic mess that Covid-19 is leaving in its wake. He, like many people in Pakistan, are pinning their hopes on the Prime Minister and former world-class cricketer, Imran Khan.

Concluding with advice for welovestornoway’s readers, Mian says: “I would like to say to all your readers in Scotland that after this coronavirus pandemic is over, you should visit Pakistan. Come to Pakistan and enjoy its beauty and enjoy our traditional culture."

About Ramadan

Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. It takes place each year in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Considered to be one of the Five Pillars of Islam, Ramadan is a commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelation. Ramadan lasts around 29 to 30 days and is based around the sighting of the crescent moon.