Ramadan through the coronavirus pandemic: Muslims mark a second holy month below covid restrictions

This yr, some circumstances have eased: Mosques in lots of nations have reopened, and clerics in locations reminiscent of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have emphasised that it’s permitted to obtain coronavirus vaccine pictures whereas fasting.

However a lot of the world stays below some type of social restrictions, as new surges, pushed by virus variants, proceed to necessitate limits on motion and gatherings.

The revered al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was shut final Ramadan due to the pandemic. This yr, it’s open to worshipers who put on masks and maintain social distance. Nonetheless, Jerusalem is way quieter than previous years, with out the same old inflow of holiday makers and pilgrims due to border restrictions.

In Israel, Muslims with a “inexperienced go,” or proof of vaccination, are allowed to collect in bigger teams than these with out one. However within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, the place vaccine pictures stay restricted, a curfew from 8 p.m. to six a.m. is in place; this prevents communal gatherings for iftar, the meal eaten at sundown to interrupt the quick, and suhoor, the pre-fast meal eaten earlier than dawn.

In Saudi Arabia a restricted variety of worshipers who’ve been vaccinated or not too long ago recovered from covid-19 are allowed to enter the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the second holiest web site in Islam, or the Kabba in Mecca, Islam’s most sacred web site.

Iftar gatherings in Saudi Arabia this yr are additionally restricted to solely 20 individuals.

Pakistan recorded a surge in circumstances final yr, which public well being specialists mentioned was due partly to the federal government letting mosques stay open throughout Ramadan and never implementing social distancing restrictions. This yr circumstances are as soon as once more surging, and medical doctors have referred to as on the federal government to maintain mosques closed.

In nations going through financial crises, reminiscent of Lebanon and Syria, the prices of meals, fuel and electrical energy are hovering. With primary wants already unmet, many won’t be able to afford to have a good time this yr.

In Iraq, Malaysia and India, public well being officers have warned that longer curfews or extra restrictions might be put in place if an infection charges spike and limits on motion and gatherings will not be adopted, the Related Press reported.

In Egypt, eating places this yr are allowed to host restricted iftar gatherings. However the authorities has banned night sports activities tournaments, in addition to avenue banquets historically held to feed the poor. Worshipers at mosques have been instructed to carry their very own prayer mats.

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