Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Celebrating Ramadan During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Aya Hussein

April 12 marks the start of the month of Ramadan on the Islamic Hijrī Calendar this year. Muslims from all parts of the world will begin their 30-day fast as a part of the religious tradition. 

“I love Ramadan, and it means a whole lot to me. Controlling my desires, abstaining from sin, praying and being close to God is something that makes me feel satisfied and at peace with myself,” University of Medical Sciences and Technology student Alanoud Nour said. “Ramadan’s atmosphere makes it easier to be a better Muslim in general.”

The Hijrī calendar is a lunar calendar with 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. This calendar was started when the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Makkah to Medina in Saudi Arabia. Certain months like Ramadan have religious significance outlined in the Quran — Muslims’ holy book. 

crowd at the Kaaba
Photo by Adli Wahid from Unsplash

The fast begins at dawn and ends at sunset.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Muslims have had to make adjustments to the way they celebrate Ramadan in order to comply with health guidelines.

One of many people’s favorite parts of the day is breaking the fast with a massive feast called iftar. This is usually a time when families and communities come together for prayer and dinner. During the pandemic, this tradition has been put on hold. Many people have expressed how much they miss this wholesome part of Ramadan.

“Normally, we invite people to our homes and eat together and share what we have, but during the pandemic we have to keep social distance,” Turkish resident Sıla Melina said.

Many Muslims are also missing out on the Taraweeh prayer at the Mosque in the evenings due to the pandemic. It takes place after the regular Isha prayers. This is slightly longer than other prayers during the day and it takes place specifically during Ramadan. Of course, some Mosques have been able to follow through with Taraweeh in a safe manner, but some haven’t been able to.

Muslims praying
Photo by Rumman Amin from Unsplash

Many people know about the general proceedings of Ramadan: Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for a month. However, it’s important to understand the other aspects of the month such as why they do it and how meaningful the time is for them. 

“For me, the importance of Ramadan is that oftentimes we get so caught up in our superficial lives of what to wear and where to go and who posted what on Instagram, that we forget our sense of self and who we truly are,” University of Maryland student Raman Jamshaid said. “Ramadan is really a time to reflect on what I have done throughout the year and how I can improve myself, not just in front of Allah, but for my surroundings, my family and my community as well.” 

During Ramadan, learning to be grateful for what you have, realizing how blessed you are and how you can help others are essential lessons. 

One of the pillars of Islam that specifcally embraces this is called Zakat. This involves everyone who has the financial means to participate giving a certain sum of money to the poor. People can also give five pounds of different kinds of easily preservable foods, such as rice, dates and flour. 

Ramadan is always a very exciting and beautiful time of the year to spend with family, friends and the Muslim community. Despite all the hardships of the past year, Ramadan is a time to be faithful and help those in need.

Similar Reads👯‍♀️