How COVID-19 is impacting Ramadan

On behalf of Ramadan beginning, the Otter Cross Cultural Center held a virtual session with speakers Faizan Mumtaz and Maria Ahmad to provide a detailed explanation to what the Islamic practice comprises and how the current state of the pandemic impacts the tradition.

Ramadan is a holy month that consists of communal prayers, fasting, introspection and reading the Qur’an. “In the month of Ramadan, we have a chance to pause everything and break our bad habits while reinforcing our good ones,” Mumtaz said. “It’s a time of sacrifice.”

This is a period in which there is a heightened sense of community. However with social distancing intact, it presents bans on gatherings and mosques that have been subdued to closures.

Taraweeh, a prayer that follows the last evening prayer, is a communal event that usually occurs in the mosque. “It’s something to look forward to because the whole community is there and there’s events for every age group and every demographic,” Mumtaz said.

Although it is an individual act of worship, there is a sense of unity that is emphasized as people pray in congregation.

“This nightly prayer provided interaction with the community and with the people,” Mumtaz said. “Muslims will be looking for how they’re gonna supplement this and fill this gap in the month of Ramadan.”

In spite of the fact that it is still possible to virtually and remotely connect with people, the pandemic has created a looming sense of isolation.

“In theory, there’s a lot more time for solitude reflection and being more mindful of what we’re eating and how we’re spending that time,” Ahmad said. “There’s gonna be a lot of time when you get that draining feeling”

Isolation poses a particular obstacle between finding the equilibrium of solitude and community. “It’s hard to find this balance, since you don’t want to be so isolated and too focused on yourself that you’re disconnected from the community,” Mumtaz said.

Despite the limitations that social distancing has administered, translating the physical experiences and seeking out alternatives to sustain the tradition are what’s entailed for the Muslim community.

“Being a practicing Muslim is always evolving,” Ahmad said. Though the physical communal aspects are absent, it does not necessitate for the community to grow weak.

Leave a Reply

Recent Articles

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers, Thank you for all your interest and support over the semester.  The Lutrinae will be taking a brief hiatus over the course of California...

Love might be blind, but does it need to be so dramatic?

The Netflix show “Love is Blind” has gained widespread attention as an unorthodox matchmaking series. The concept of the show is to have singles...

Safe ways to look for love during winter

When college students were sent home in Spring 2020, some rejoiced while others did not. When the reality of online learning began to settle...

Finals Week Speech

It's the final countdown, final call Final soft thud of my head against the wall Full throttled abstention Just one week to go I'm google over-drive And it's starting to...

Related Articles