US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Daily fasting during Ramadan this year is a test for all Muslim believers around the world. Tradition requires that prayers be held together in the mosque, but for the first time they will be individual, as authorities have banned gatherings to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
Islamic holy sites, including Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, will be empty during the month of Ramadan, which begins on Friday, as authorities advise worshipers to pray at home.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem – the third holiest site of Islam – will also remain closed during Ramadan, the Islamic Council of Jerusalem said on Thursday.
For Muslims, a large part of the holy month consists of special night prayers called “taraëeeh,” which are held daily in the mosque and performed by the imam, the leader of the prayers. During this time, when people are being isolated at home to avoid the spread of coronavirus, the authorities encourage Muslims to focus on individual prayer habits and turn isolation into inner peace.
“When you tell people it’s really good for you to learn individual prayer habits now, people find it very difficult to make the connection because they’re so used to praying in the mosque,” says Suleiman, a professor of Islamic studies. at Southern Methodist University.
Ramadan begins on the evening of April 23 and culminates on May 23. During the 30-day period, Muslims fast during daylight hours, a practice seen as one of the five pillars of Islam.
They can eat before sunrise and break their fast after sunset every day. Muslims believe that their Holy Book, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this holy month. According to Arabic etymology, fasting is a spiritual process of washing away sins with good deeds.
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