By Nursyabiha Sukri
KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 -- This year’s Aidilfitri is definitely different following the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) enforced by the government, but there are many other ways that Malaysians especially the Muslims can take to enjoy the celebration.
Psychologist, Prof Datin Dr Mariani Md Nor of Universiti Malaya, said while adopting the new normal, people could embrace technology to express love to their parents and families living far away from them.
“Of course, the feeling is different because we cannot meet and hug our loved ones on Aidilfitri. But people must understand that protecting others from the virus is a collective responsibility,” she told Bernama when contacted.
She regretted that some individuals have been proudly bragging of managing to travel across states because they may not realise the risk of potentially carrying the virus.
Instead, Mariani stressed that the community should impose their own MCO or home curfew during Aidilfitri by only allowing visits from close relatives to avoid COVID-19 infection.
The COVID-19 pandemic sees the emergence of new normal such as practising social distance, conducting virtual meetings, wearing face masks, cleaning and sanitisation, temperature checks and frequently washing hands to contain the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman said the new normal should not restrict Muslims from celebrating the beginning of Syawal month with excitement and gratitude to Allah.
“Wearing nice clothes is already following the sunnah and we will be granted with ‘pahala’ (rewards), and it is also recommended to eat before the Aidilfitri prayer. That is among ways of practising Islam,” he said.
On visiting graves, Abdul Rahman said it was not only limited to the Syawal month and people could still do it after the CMCO is over, although he added that it was best to substitute this by reciting Al-Quran and prayers as well as giving out alms or donations.
An expert in psychotherapy and counselling (depression and anxiety) from Access Counselling Services Dr Meriam Omar Din said people should see the silver lining in celebrating Aidilfitri with the new normal as they would have more time to interact with their family members compared to being busy entertaining visitors.
She said this year’s Aidilfitri also calls for greater sacrifice and patience either mentally, physically or emotionally because the ultimate goal was to end the COVID-19 pandemic in this country.
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