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U Understanding Islam

Ramadan: It’s like having 29 Thanksgivings, and all of a sudden it becomes interrupted!

By Tribune News Service, For The Star: Tribune News Service, On 18 May 2020, Read Original
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Although Florida’s statewide suspension of non-essential businesses does not include religious services, most in the Muslim community have pivoted to online prayers. But the month of Ramadan represents a different kind of loss for Muslims, who usually gather in the hundreds, celebrating in mosques every night during the holiday to break fast and pray.

“It’s like having 29 Thanksgivings. It’s something people have lived through their whole lives, and all of a sudden it becomes interrupted, ” said Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Florida.

“It’s like in all religions... those who never went to mosque, now was the time to do it.”Most daily prayers and the pre-dawn meal of sahur, which Muslims must eat an hour before the sun comes out, can still happen at home. But imams will no longer conduct daily terawih, or the extended prayer during Ramadan that usually takes place at mosques.

Muslims also won’t attend their local masjid to break fast for the post-sunset meal, iftar.

“There are some non-essential, but important, rituals that are tied to Ramadan, that now won’t be able to happen.... It’s going to cause some sadness, ” Ruiz said.

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