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Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic, Muslims Plan To Move Ramadan Traditions Online




Muslims participate in the Eid al-Fitr prayers on September 10, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Muslims participate in the Eid al-Fitr prayers on September 10, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

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The coronavirus pandemic will make this year’s observance of Ramadan highly unusual, as many Muslims move their traditions and rituals online to better adhere to physical distancing guidelines.

During Ramadan, observers fast throughout the day after eating a pre-dawn meal, called suhur. Each day culminates with iftar, a festive and communal meal that is taken when the fast is broken at sundown. Iftar is a social affair, often experienced in the company of family and friends. Mosques commonly open their doors to serve the community. But because of the novel coronavirus, Muslims in southern California and around the world are having to adjust traditions and rituals—some centuries old— in order to keep community members safe. Iftars are moving to Zoom, as are some prayer services. Mosques have already foregone in-person services and begun to distribute masks and organize grocery shopping trips on behalf of the elderly. With all the changes, many Muslims are wondering how to preserve the religious experience of Ramadan, which observers look forward to every year as an opportunity to deeply engage with their community and faith. 

How are you planning to observe Ramadan? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Shaykh Mustafa Umar, Imam and education director at the Islamic Institute of Orange County (IIOC); he tweets @mustafaumar