Ramadan ruined by COVID-19 for the second time?


Rifa Tasfia, Social Media Editor

Depending on the phases of the moon, Ramadan in the United States may begin on Monday 12th, 2021. With Covid-19 restrictions still at large, Ramadan might be celebrated virtually again. But what is Ramadan exactly?

Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month on the Muslim calendar, where Allah (God in Arabic) revealed the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. It is the month of worship and deliberation, which is viewed as the spiritual process of burning away sin with good deeds.

During this time, from before sunrise to sunset, Muslims dress conservatively, spend more time at the mosque, practice giving charity, and abstain from drinking, eating, or participating in hedonistic activities. The Pew Research Center said that 80% of Muslims in the U.S. fast during Ramadan.

Tables turned when Covid-19 showed up last year. To maintain social distancing, the World Health Organization advised all Muslims to participate in Ramadan virtually, as most of its communal traditions were canceled.

Muslims were banned from group iftars (the fast-breaking meal after sunset) or gathering for Taraweeh prayers in mosques at night.

This year’s Ramadan may be a little different from its previous year. Since the vaccines for Covid-19 are out, many mosques are now open for worship for a limited number of people.

This means that the Taraweeh prayer can take place in mosques, but with fewer people. The president of the Islamic Cultural Association of Western New York, Br. M. Ayoub, on 444 Connecticut St, said that he had vague ideas of what might happen during this year’s Ramadan.

“We are waiting for approval from the state to see what we are allowed and not allowed to do,” said Ayoub. “Like how many people we can allow in the building. But we have Quran classes for free via zoom if you are interested.”

With genuine dedication, all Muslims should use this month as an opportunity to collect countless blessings from Allah. Let us hope that New York state gives mosques the authorization so that we can practice Ramadan this year.