Ramzan fasting begins in Karnataka amid Covid surge


The month-long Ramazan fasting began across Karnataka on a solemn note in compliance with the Covid norms amid the second wave of the pandemic, an official said on Wednesday.

“The first day of Ramzan fasting began in the wee hours (04:55am) of the day with Sehri namaz and concluded with Iftar prayers in the evening (6:37 pm),” Markazi Ruyath-e-Hilal convenor Mohammad Sageer Ahmed Rashadi told IANS here.

Though mosques in containment zones remained shut as per the guidelines, hundreds of the devout were allowed to offer prayers (namaz) in other mosques in a limited number to maintain social distancing and avoid crowding the place of worship.

As the sacred ninth month in the Islamic calendar, based on new moon’s sighting, Ramadan begins 11 days early every year and its fasting (roza) is observed from dawn (fajar) to dusk (maghrib) and ends evening at iftar.

Special night prayers (teraveeh) are also offered during the holy month.

“The steep increase in the number of positive cases daily across the state calls for strict compliance of Covid appropriate behaviour during Ramzan and the rituals for which people congregate in mosques in large numbers,” state Minority Welfare, Wakf and Haj Secretary P. Mannivanan said on Tuesday.

Wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, washing hands, thermal screening and providing sanitisers have been made mandatory in all mosques.

Those above 60 years of age and persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 years stayed at home, and offer prayers there, as per another guideline.

As mandated, separate gates were used at mosques for arrival and departure of the devout to ensure social distancing.

“Entry of devout was staggered and regulated to avoid crowding in mosques,” said Rashadi.

The devotees also brought their own mat for offering prayers.

Mosques were sanitised after every namaz session throughout the day.

According to the state’s Imarat-e-Sharia, fasting during Ramzan is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and considered as a blessed month by Muslims the world over.