Forced to wear their masks, check temperature, and go to mosques in limited numbers, Muslims in the US still feel it is a blessing to be able to pray at the mosque during Ramadan.
“Ramadan is still a little different,” said Amir Mohammed, originally from Ethiopia, who goes to a mosque in Alexandria, Virginia, Voice of America reported.
Despite restrictions, “it is still a blessing,” he said.
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Ramadan is the 9th month of the Hijri Islamic calendar. It commemorates the first revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad.
From dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations).
Imam Naeem Baig, outreach director at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia is also happy that the mosques are finally open.
“People are so happy the mosque is open,” he said. “It gives them an opportunity to see each other and pray together — the feeling of community you can’t get by being at home.”
“I’m thrilled to be back in the mosque with the brothers and sisters,” said Imam Khalid Griggs, with the Community Mosque of Winston Salem, in North Carolina. “If Allah (God) wanted to take my soul right now, I would feel complete.”
No Public Iftar Yet
Some Ramadan features still have not returned to normal like community iftar.
“I miss the fellowship of inviting friends and family for iftar,” said Imam Rafiq Mahdi, the co-founder of the Muslim Community of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the outreach director for the Islamic Circle of North America, a social services organization.
“I miss the camaraderie and hearing the laughter of the children.”
Therefore, mosques and Muslim service groups have started to engage in works of charity with social distancing, including packing boxes with food staples for the needy.
Islamic Relief USA, a humanitarian organization in Alexandria, returned to its annual Ramadan food-packing event this year. In Los Angeles, Dallas, and Springfield, Virginia, volunteers of all faiths packed boxes with items such as pasta, flour and oil.
“The volunteers’ faith background makes no difference to us,” Susan Ahmed, a regional program coordinator for Islamic Relief USA, said.