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Ramadan and the Coronavirus
Corona, Culture

Ramadan and the Coronavirus 

Closed mosques, cancelled pilgrimages, suspended gatherings… faced with the spread of COVID-19 and despite a certain amount of reluctance, Muslim religious leaders are left with no other choice but to adapt.

As countries around the world have moved to ban 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.

With Ramadan one month away, people are taking to social media to share their thoughts and concerns about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the month of fasting.

Ramadan this year, expected to begin on April 23, is centered around group gatherings: the evening meal of iftar in which Muslims break their fast together, shared food in Ramadan tents and other religious and social events with family and friends such as the communal Taraweeh prayers.

Saudi Arabia has implemented a curfew. The United Arab Emirates has suspended flights to and from the country for at least two weeks. Jordan has turned to the army to enforce its curfew law.

In all of these countries, it is unclear whether measures limiting public gatherings will still be in place by the beginning of Ramadan.

Startling photos of the empty esplanade surrounding the Kaaba have been seen the world over.

The holiest site in Islam, the Great Mosque of Mecca, was closed temporarily on 5 March in an effort to fight the spread of coronavirus, which to date has claimed nearly numerous lives. With Ramadan just weeks away, Muslims are left wondering how the special month will be celebrated.

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