Muslims Welcome the Month of Ramadan
As Ramadan begins with the new moon later this week, Muslims around the world are trying to maintain the cherished rituals of Islam’s holiest month without further spreading the outbreak.
At the heart of Ramadan is the sunrise-to-sunset fast, meant to instill contemplation of God. But alongside the hardship of abstaining from food and drink for hours every day, the month sweeps everyone up into a communal spirit. Families and friends gather for large meals at sunset, known as iftars. In some countries, cafes and cultural events are packed late into the night. Worshippers go to mosques for hours of evening prayers, or “Taraweeh.” Many devote themselves to charity.
Muslims now find themselves cut off from much of what makes the month special as authorities fight the pandemic. Many countries have closed mosques and banned Taraweeh to prevent crowds. Prominent clerics, including in Saudi Arabia, have urged people to pray at home.
Governments are trying to balance restrictions with traditions.
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