WATCH | Ramaphosa wishes all Muslims on the continent Ramadaan Mubarak amid Covid-19 pandemic

2020-04-24 20:41
A Muslim cleric sits on a bench of the usually busy Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town before joining a small group of clerics (not visible) gathering to look out for the crescent moon which will signal the start of the month of Ramadan. (Rodger Bosch, AFP)

A Muslim cleric sits on a bench of the usually busy Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town before joining a small group of clerics (not visible) gathering to look out for the crescent moon which will signal the start of the month of Ramadan. (Rodger Bosch, AFP)

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A the chairperson of the African Union and president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has wished Muslims on the continent well as they celebrate the holy month of Ramadaan. 

He said it would not be the same as in previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"The crescent moon has risen over our continent, Africa. And the sacred month of Ramadaan has begun. On behalf of the African Union, I wish our Muslim brothers and sisters well during this holy month.

"In Bamako, in Mogadishu, in Ndjamena, in Dar es Salam, in Cairo and in Cape Town, during this month, Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset and engage in acts of devotion and charity," said Ramaphosa.

"Sadly, Ramadaan this year will not be as it was last year. We are in the shadow of a global public health emergency. The coronavirus pandemic has left no area of the world untouched."

The continent has 27 385 Covid-19 cases, with 1 297 deaths and 8 172 recoveries.

Ramaphosa said a "number of countries have imposed measures to contain the spread of the virus".

He added this meant "that many of the Ramadaan traditions like praying at the mosque, making the Umrah pilgrimage and visiting family and friends are not taking place".

READ: Ramadaan in the time of coronavirus is unprecedented, says MJC

Ramaphosa said at a time when millions faced hunger, destitution and misery, the charitable acts performed during Ramadaan were needed more than ever.

"The Ramadaan spirit of giving and of charity will continue to be needed for a long time to come. As Africans, we will emerge from this hardship with a new consciousness.

"We will understand, and perhaps as never before, our great duty to help and support those less fortunate than ourselves will be enhanced.

"As the holy Quran says, if anyone saves a life a life, it is as if they have saved the whole of humankind," he added. 

- Compiled by Vanessa Banton

Read more on:    coronavirus  |  religion
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