With the holy month of Ramadan commencing last night and many Australian Muslims beginning their fast this morning, celebrating this Islamic month in a global pandemic will be dramatically different.
As the month focuses on fasting, reflection, community and prayer, a few of these practices will be greatly impacted during coronavirus lockdowns and Muslims all over Australia will face tough challenges while in quarantine.
Just like the very first Ramadan, Muslims are all in isolation their own little caves this year. May it be as transformative and transcendent for us all as that original one. #Ramadan2020
— Susan Carland (@SusanCarland) April 23, 2020
During the 30-day period, Muslims fast during daylight hours and break their fast at dusk each day. For many Muslims, breaking their fast can be celebrated with friends, families and local communities but, with coronavirus restrictions in Australia, Muslims are urged to stay at home and avoid socialising.
A significant part of Ramadan includes nightly prayers called ‘taraweeh’ which are usually held daily at any local mosque. During these prayers, mosques are crowded with people. However, limitations will cause worshippers to perform their prayers at home today in order to maintain social distancing protocols.
In a pre-recorded video issued yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison recognised the challenges Muslims will face in Ramadan due to the social distancing restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The holy month of Ramadan is a time of special devotion for Muslims across the world. It’s a time of fasting and prayer, as well as reflection and renewal. However, this year will be very different as we all experience a global health crisis,” he said.
“Today, the world is more in need than ever of the hope and strength of spirit that faith imparts. So I encourage all of you in the Muslim community to stay strong.”
Photo: Brown desk lamp By Ahmed Aqtai available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.