Before Ramadan: ”People long to come to the mosque, it’s hard to keep them away”
Ramadan begins on 24th April. Believers pray even more than usual during the month of fasting.
– Corona is affecting Ramadan to a great extent this year. We appeal to everyone to pray at home, says Shabaan Abou Zur.
– Generally speaking the same instructions apply both for Friday prayers and for daily prayers. Only a limited number can come to the mosque to pray. The only people who are allowed to be there are the people who work there or have a special function in the mosque.
”Important information has gone out in Swedish as well as in other languages such as Albanian, Somali and Arabic”Shaaban Abour Zur, imam
He believes that most people are following the recommendations.
– People just do what is absolutely necessary, like doing the shopping and going to work, most people stay at home. All teaching and other activities have been suspended.
– There are a few who pray during the day, but they keep at a distance from one another.
People long to come to the mosque, it’s hard to keep them away. But that is what has been decided, and we’re sticking to that. There are rules in our religion – first of all you must protect yourself from infection.
What are other Moslem congregations doing?
– They’re doing the same, I know another place of prayer that has cancelled its activities. If I hear that some congregation is not following the directives, It’s my duty to have a word with them.
Do you think information has reached everybody as regards advice on the new corona virus?
– Yes, important information has gone out in Swedish as well as in other languages such as Albanian, Somali and Arabic. There is plenty of information on the social media, on TV and on the radio. Through our congregation we try to help old people and their relatives with information that they should wash their hands often, not stand too close to other people and so on.
”There are people who live along with their big family in the same flat. That is what can be critical”Shaaban Abou Zur, imam
But he was worried when several Somalis died of covid-19 in Stockholm in March.
– We have members, brothers and sisters in our congregation, with a background in Somalia.We translated some of the texts into Somali to spread information at Gamlegården. Perhaps they know now what the rules are.
Something that bothers Shaaban Abou Zur is overcrowding.
– Not to be able to isolate oneself, that’s what worries me. There are people who live along with their big family in the same flat. That is what can be critical. I hope it doesn’t cause any problems.
Will there be Eid celebrations to mark the end of ramadan?
– No, human life is the first priority, of course, that must be protected now.
Advice to the public
· Stay at home if you have a cold. Wait at least two days after you recover before returning to work or school. Avoid close contact with people over the age of 70.
· Most people with symptoms do not need to contact the health service. Follow the self-care advice on 1177.se.
Call 1177 or your healthcare centre if you need more advice and support. At 1177 you can get advice through interpreters in Arabic and Somali from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays.
At coronatest.skane.se you can do a self-test to see if you need to seek medical care.
· If you have general questions, you can find more information on krisinformation.se, folkhälsomyndigheten.se or call 113 13.
Everyone can contribute by not spreading the infection: wash your hands, cough and sneeze into your elbows.