Ramazan under lockdown: Empty mosques hear offerings from home

Christie Syndor
Sunday, 24 May 2020

This year, the holy month of Ramazan was observed under lockdown. The coronavirus has not only affected the people but also their festivities. 

For most of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims, this year's holy month of Ramazan(Ramzan or Ramadan) was spent quite differently. With lockdown implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the nation is only allowed to step out of the house for the essential purpose only. 

Collective worship is a very important part of the Islamic tradition. During Ramazan, which commemorates the first Quranic revelation of Prophet Muhammad, Muslims fast from before dawn to sunset, pray and break fast along with celebratory meals called iftars.

During this holy month, Muslims gather every morning in mosques and prayer areas to perform Eid Prayer and greet each other. Visiting friends and relatives, hosting food parties and sharing sweets are other traditions. 

However this year, all Muslims around the world are praying and breaking fast in confinements, missing their communal tradition. 

"The important events in Ramzan have not taken place this year. Due to coronavirus, every person is now held up in their homes. Some of our regular rituals, like offering namaz, including the special namaz of the night, the Iftaar parties do not take place," Shaikh Fajal Sattar, a teacher, told Sakal Times.

Now families say the nightly Taraweeh prayers at home or break their fast alone when earlier they would either pray together in mosques or join their neighbours for their evening meal. Now, many create prayer spaces inside their homes, modelled after places where they would normally worship. 

The mosque has been closed since March, conducting their prayers online or among themselves instead of allowing worshippers to attend in person has been one big change.

"Namaz this time was not possible due to coronavirus, because everyone doesn't get the Quran at their homes. It is recited after a Maulvi. There needs to be a hafiz(guardian/memoriser) with whom this namaz can take place," Shaikh further said. 

With Ramadan coming to an end, three families share how they have been observing this holy month while following the norms of social distancing during this pandemic. 


Mosques during the coronavirus pandemic

Without the devotees offering prayers in the mosque, the most famous mosques too look deserted. 

Watch video of the holiest sites of Islam, as you have never seen before. These sites would ordinarily be thronged with people during the holy month of Ramadan. Still, due to coronavirus pandemic, these mosques wear an eerie empty look.


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