Ramadan 2020 comes during quarantine

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Photo Credit: Guillaume Paumier

With Ramadan coming up, a lot of Muslims all over the world are getting ready to celebrate. But this year they may be celebrating differently.

By: Basma Marghany, student life editor

With the pandemic still going, a lot of religious holidays adjusted their way of celebrating. Such holidays just like Easter, Ramadan and Passover are seeing changes. Social distancing and the restrictions on gatherings makes it challenging for those practicing to join in faith to celebrate.

Some celebrated Passover and Easter virtually with apps like Zoom and Google Meets. Whereas, some people opted to celebrate or worship privately. Some church services are aired on TV. Other services are live streamed to a website so people can worship in their home.

English teacher Mrs. Danielle Allen had hoped to see her family this Easter since she is 6 months pregnant with twins. A few days prior to Easter, her friends bring their children over to see the Easter Bunny. She usually goes to St. Francis Cathedral Roman Catholic Church in the morning. Then she goes to her aunt’s house down the shore where the kids hunt for eggs and the family shares a meal together. But this year, she cancelled the Easter Bunny’s visit, watched her religious service on TV and shared a simple meal with her husband. “We normally have traditional and cultural foods on Easter, so not eating them this year made Easter seem like just another day. I was looking forward to going to church so the priest would bless my babies, but instead I prayed alone at home on the holiest of days in the Catholic faith. Things just seemed off,” Allen noted. 

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a religious month in the Islamic Faith. During this Month Muslims all over the world fast,and worship. The way all Muslims fast is that they don’t eat anything from sunrise to sunset. They eat a small meal before sunrise known as Suhoor. Which could be considered their breakfast. Muslims wait for Ramadan every year. it is considered the most sacred month of the year.

Mosques (Muslims place of worship ) are filled with people. Muslims spend the whole month doing acts of worship like fasting, praying, charity etc. Ramadan lasts for thirty day. Then after it ends, Muslims celebrate after in the Month of Shawal in the Islamic Calendar on what they call Eid-Alfitr. Eid-Alfitr translates to the celebration of breaking your fast. On the first day of Eid, Muslims traditionally gather in their local mosque. They come in dressed up in their best attire, they pray, have breakfast together and they enjoy the rest of their day.

What’s going to happen this year?

With the whole world going through a pandemic, a lot f Ramadan traditions are missed out on, or adjusted. When asking some of them what they will miss the most about Ramadan, 17 year old Ola Abusharia said, ” In my opinion The hardest thing will be that we are stuck at home unlike the other years we were preoccupied in school which made the fasting easier.” She also added, “We also won’t be able to go to Taraweeh which is a special prayer that we do every night during Ramadan and in Ramadan only and we won’t be to spend time with family and friends.”

Agreeing with Abusharia 15 year old Aya Essa said, “The thing I will miss the most about Ramadan is being surrounded with so many people and giving smiles to everyone.”

MSN reported that many Muslims are also turning to digital platforms to pray together while under the quarantine restrictions. Sadly these Zoom events cause some fear among Muslims. They fear that hate groups may target their digital event and ruin this holy time.

Another concern is that Mosques, like Churches and Temples, usually raise a large amount of funds during this time. According to Yahoo News, “Mosques around the country typically raise between 25% to 30% of their annual revenue through donations from congregants during the holy month, religious leaders say.” Looking to the future, mosques may have to budget differently or hold fundraisers to make up the money. With people losing their jobs, it also makes it challenging to donate during these times.

Overall, there’s a lot that Muslim people will be missing out on a lot during this Ramadan. Even though they are missing out on a lot, they’re hoping they will be out soon and will be able to celebrate together.