Muslims worldwide are anticipating Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, community, and reflection.
In White Rock, British Columbia, Canada, members of the Muslim community are preparing to observe Ramadan on a much smaller scale this year.
“It’s completely changed. We used to have gatherings every night… now we’ve had to completely stop,” former White Rock Muslim Association president Asad Syed told Peace Arch News.
Syed said that in a normal year, each Friday during Ramadan, the association would also normally host a large dinner gathering.
“In Ramadan, you fast in the daytime… and every evening you breakfast. Around sunset, we used to get together in our center and break the fast.”
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As Muslims will not be able to gather this Ramadan, all aspects of the holy month, including taraweeh prayer and iftar, will be held privately.
“We’ll do everything still at home… but the social (aspect) is gone,” Syed added.
As most members of the association are understanding, some have “mixed emotions.”
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“Mostly, everyone is just disappointed. But everyone understands. I don’t blame anyone. This is just how it is and we have to follow the rules,” he said.
“It’s the same emotions that other communities are also feeling.”
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Hijri Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad.
During Ramadan fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations) the same phrase.