Vice News reports that “Muslims in the U.S. are over-represented in multiple fields that are considered essential during the COVID-19 crisis. In Michigan, for example, under 3 percent of the overall population is Muslim, but Muslims account for 15 percent of the state’s doctors.”
For Muslim essential workers, the challenges of Ramadan under the Coronavirus pandemic are profound. As Vice reports, “They will worry daily about exposing their loved ones to the virus when they return home from work, and about keeping themselves physically and mentally strong enough to fulfill the duties of their job while foregoing food and water.”
Despite these challenges, doctors like Hasan Shanawani, who specializes in lung disease and critical care, have decided to work through Ramadan, which means fasting while working 12 hour shifts and coming home to self-isolate from his family.
Dr. Shanawani says the decision to continue working in the ICU through Ramadan is very much due to his faith. “There are people out there drowning, [and] I know how to take care of them. How do I not step up and do that work?” He credits the below hadith for his moral outlook:
Allah will say on the Day of Judgment, ‘Son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me.’
My Lord, How could I visit You when You are the Lord of the Worlds?’
Did you not know that one of My servants was sick and you didn’t visit him? If you had visited him you would have found Me there.’