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ramadankareem2020
السلام علیكم, مضان مبارك
Assalaamu Alaykum,

Dear colleagues and friends, dear brothers and sisters:

First, an apology: Eight weeks ago, when our new president, Hasan Shanawani, was given the privilege to serve American Muslim Health Professionals, it was not his intent to wait 8 weeks before sending a greeting and to introduce himself. However, little did anyone know in February that 2020 would serve to be a year like no other: for the world, for America, and in particular, for Muslim Health Professionals and the people we serve.

But here we are, on the eve of another of the best of months! Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of giving of ourselves. RAMADAN, whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness, and whose end is freedom from punishment in the next life. RAMADAN, where Muslims believe God revealed to us His words through Angel Gabriel, Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings on his name, who is the best of all mankind. RAMADAN, with one night that is better than a thousand months.

Many will say: this month will be different. And indeed, in the religion of jama’ah, of the congregation, when our ability to come together and share in God’s bounty is stolen from us, it will indeed be bittersweet. The Coronavirus pandemic is an enormous challenge, for people worldwide, for our fellow Americans, for healthcare workers, and for our mosques and community centers where we celebrate our wonderful faith this one time a year. There’s only one word for it: heartache. This Ramadan will be like none we have ever had.

Or is it? We’re taught as kids that fasting reminds us how Allahu Akbar, that God is Greater than us, who are weak and who need nourishment to survive. And so this year might be the best Ramadan, where we are truly mindful of how delicate our lives are, and how truly dependent on God’s Mercy and Beneficence for all things.

And Muslims today around the world are no strangers to suffering. How many Muslims every year fast in war zones, in poverty, under the brutal tyranny of societies where their own neighbors view them with utter contempt? This year, even as we face COVID-19 in “isolation,” let’s take a moment to ponder the true luxury and privilege--indeed, mercy--that comes with being able to go to mosques, to overeat with friends at sundown, and to worship communally. Let’s take a moment to appreciate how fragile that mercy is.

And most of all, Ramadan is STILL the best month! It’s still the month of fasting, the month of prayer, the month of gratitude, of generosity, of remembrance and contemplation. And it doesn’t get better than fasting: God tells us in a hadith Qudsi: All actions a human being does are his with the exception of fasting which belongs to Me. I reward it accordingly. (Al-Bukhari).

What a gift! When God rewards an action as purely His, the reward has no limits. God’s generosity can’t be measured by percents, multiplication, or any other measure. It commensurate only with His glory. Most all, we at AMHP want to say to our health professionals: Remember that even your work, your service, can be an act of worship. Remember that God also says: O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not. [the son of Adam] will say: O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds? He will say: Did you not know that My servant so-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him?

In a time of unprecedented suffering, that Health Professionals serve those very people who indeed suffer just that much more is itself a blessing and perhaps another opportunity to thank God and be mindful. It won’t be an easy Ramadan: but it’s one we will all remember.

So we thank God for the mercy of making it to another Ramadan, for the opportunity to serve Him through our fasting and to serve those as healthcare professionals, and for the chance to celebrate and worship in a month for the books. May God accept our worship and our good deeds. God bless you and Ramadan Mubarak!

From your Friends at American Muslim Health Professionals,
American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP)
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National Muslim Taskforce on
COVID-19 Ramadan Guidelines

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Here is the recording to webinar on Ramadan Guidelines.

As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to unfold, AMHP is determined to provide communities with mental health, social support, scholarly content and health information to meet the unique needs of the American Muslim community. Through the establishment of a National Task Force representing over 30 organizations, we hope to increase collaboration across other healthcare and public health organizations to effectively and proactively respond to this public health crisis and mitigate its impacts. Please consider making a generous contribution today!
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