San Diego Muslims Begin Ramadan In Coronavirus Pandemic Era
Friday, April 24, 2020
Photo by Erik Anderson
San Diego Muslims marked the beginning of Ramadan on Friday, but it is a Ramadan like no other.
Ramadan is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims fast during daylight hours and then gather for prayers and a feast after sundown. It is considered one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith.
Ramadan puts a month-long spotlight on community, reflection, fasting and prayer, and all of those things are affected by the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
Imam Taha Hassane said the community cannot gather in person, but that does not mean Muslims have to abandon their faith.
“It’s time to turn our homes into our mosques,” Hassane said. “Make your home as your sanctuary. Have a corner or a room in your home where you can pray together as a family. Whatever we used to do together in the mosque, you can do it together as a family at home.”
The Islamic Center of San Diego essentially closed March 12, moving all services online.
It was a major change for the congregants who are used to mingling with their community.
Hassane expects even more adjustments as the community returns to the mosque.
“If you know how we pray as Muslims on the mosque, shoulder to shoulder, foot to foot, I don’t know how we are going to do that, honestly,” Hassane said. “But we will deal with the situation as information comes and we will see what we can do.”
Communal prayers and feasts are not possible during Ramadan, but traditions like reaching out to those less fortunate will continue as the Islamic Center delivers food to those in need.
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