COVID-19 cancels social aspects of Ramadan on P.E.I. this year
‘It’s going to be a very different celebration’
There will be none of the usual potluck suppers or nightly prayers at the Masjid Dar As-Salam mosque in Charlottetown during Ramadan this year.
Ramadan starts at sundown on April 23. It is a month marked by daily fasting, with the evenings often taken up by families and community gathering to break fast and pray together.
But Zain Esseghaier, a spokesperson for the Muslim Society of P.E.I., said the gatherings won't be happening this year, as Island Muslims observe physical distancing advice from the Chief Public Health Office.
"That part of Ramadan won't be taking place this year so it's going to be a very different celebration of the month," said Esseghaier.
"It's going to be hard on everybody."
Typically during Ramadan 80 to 100 people will gather at the mosque every night, he said. The nightly suppers are especially popular with young people.
It's an opportunity to celebrate and renew the bonds of friendship.
The fasting and nightly suppers will go ahead, but but with each household celebrating on its own. Esseghaier expects there will be some connecting over video conferencing and other technology.
"It will not replace gatherings themselves, the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, but it will be the next best thing," said Esseghaier.
"It's going to be sad, in a way, but that's life, I guess. We have to deal with what we're given."
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With files from Island Morning