Can COVID and Ramadan coexist?

Maryum W., Staff Writer

Every year, millions of Muslims around the world partake in a month of fasting called Ramadan, which involves abstaining from consuming foods or beverages from dawn to dusk. The month is a celebration of the revelations of the Quran given to Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). Muslims learn the value of sacrifice and participate actively in prayer and pillars such as zakat and hajj. The month centers around long days and nights of rewarding iftars and joyful gatherings for taraweeh prayer. 

This year, COVID-19 has affected the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the month. Here in Commack, many students express feelings of disappointment and disconnection regarding the restrictions surrounding Ramadan thus far.

A negative impact of COVID-19 on Ramadan is the restrictions it has created for Muslims to abide by. Due to the social distancing rules, taraweeh prayer in mosques are very limited and the usual gatherings of friends and family is not an aspect people can look forward to anymore.

“Ramadan has not been the same because we can’t go to mosques and pray standing right beside one another. We cannot see certain friends we made there and most of all we cannot share the bond we made when we were at the Mosque,” said freshman Safiyah O.

Most muslim teens feel like a part of a community in their mosques and the restrictions limit their  special interactions this time of year. 

 “I miss being able to go to Taraweeh, along with the stalls placed outside the masjid,” said junior Dania R.

Outside of the mosque, many families typically host events and gatherings in celebration of the holy month. 

“This year COVID-19 has impacted my Ramadan because we weren’t able to have as many parties and celebrations like we did in past years,” said junior Asmaa Z.

Although negative things have occurred as a result of the pandemic, some positives can also be pointed out. For virtual students, being at home has become an advantage during these unprecedented times. 

“In the past, it would be stressful for me because I would have a lot of homework and a lot of tests to study for but I would never have enough time to finish them, since iftar was only a couple of hours later. Now, because I’m an all virtual student, I feel like I’ve gotten closer with my extended family than in years past due to school,” said freshman Safiyah O. 

The virtual adjustments serve as a relief for many muslim students in decreasing the responsibility and pressure that builds up in Ramadan. Leniency with school allows students to focus on prayer and spend time with family and friends.

Overall Ramadan this year has been different, with COVID-19 playing a heavy role on the experiences of Muslims in our own community. The effects it caused have been both positive and negative. However, even this year, the Muslim community continues to fast and looks forward to a blessed eid. Ramadan Mubarak! 🔳