With Ramadan one month away, people are taking to social media to share their thoughts and concern s about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect Islam’s holiest month.
The traditions of Ram adan, estimated to begin on April 23 this year, are centered on group gatherings: communal taraweeh pr ayers, the evening meal of iftar in which Muslims break their fast together, shared food and shisha in Ramadan tents and other religious and social events with family and friends.
But as countries around the world have moved to b an social gatherings to try and slow the spread of the new coronavirus, many Muslims have voiced their concerns about how they will practice Ramadan this year.
“During Ramadan I go to the masjid [mosque] every single day I try not to miss out,” Twitter user Luis DiNiro said. “This Ramadan unfortu nately it seems like we will still be on lockdown and it’s depressing to even think about. May Allah s wt allow us to have a normal Ramadan this year and end this pandemic.”
When Muslims pray in groups, also known as jamaa’a prayer, they line up, side-by-side, shoulders touching. But many Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE hav e currently suspended group prayers until further notice in line with coronavirus preventative measure s. If these measures last through the next month, taraweeh prayers in groups would also be banned, thr eatening a key practice of Ramadan.
Some are calling for people to comply with the new regula tions now to slow the spread of coronavirus so that the quarantine requirements can be lifted before t he beginning of the holy month.
“What is Ramadan without tarawih [taraweeh]?” Twitter user nh fyzahs asked. “Rethink the consequences if the quarantine is extended for two months, how about Ramada n? Decision is in your hand, use your common sense and maturity.”
“No taraweeh this Ramadan and Eid prayer too, this is so sad,” someo ne with username @jowharx said in a tweet.