Muslims mark Ramadan under lockdowns




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AFP

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A Muslim devotee attends a prayer in Kathmandu amid a government-imposed lockdown across Nepal

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Millions of Muslims around the world have found different ways to celebrate Ramadan this year, as restrictions imposed by countries to curb the spread of the coronavirus have closed mosques and banned gatherings.

This is when the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset.

Families and friends usually gather to break the fast and many attend prayers.

This year, however, people are having to mark the holy month at home instead.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it started on or around Thursday. In parts of the world particularly hard hit by the virus, this year’s celebrations are tinged with sadness.

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound has been closed to worshippers since mid-March and will not open during Ramadan. Even Islam’s holiest site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has been affected by the pandemic.

The Kaaba in Mecca's Great Mosque stands largely emptyImage copyright
AFP

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Mecca’s Grand Mosque would normally be full of worshippers during Ramadan, but now stands largely empty

An imam arrives to make the call to pray in New YorkImage copyright
Reuters

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In New York, this imam made the afternoon call to prayer at an empty mosque

Customers wait to buy food in Lahore, PakistanImage copyright
AFP

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In Pakistan, customers maintained social distancing while buying food to break their fast

A man breaks his fast outside the empty Jama Masjid in DelhiImage copyright
Reuters

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A man breaks his fast outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid, which is also closed as India remains under lockdown

A Muslim woman wearing a face mask and rubber gloves praysImage copyright
Reuters

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Muslims in Jerusalem prayed in an alley of the Old City on Friday

An imam in Indonesia broadcasts a recitation of the KoranImage copyright
Reuters

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In Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country – the government has banned travel during Ramadan

Street vendors sell food in Niger's capital NiameyImage copyright
AFP

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Calm returned to Niger’s capital Niamey after protests against the coronavirus restrictions, including the ban on collective prayers

Women look from the windows of their house in the town of Toukh, EgyptImage copyright
Reuters

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A house is decorated with traditional Ramadan lanterns in the town of Toukh, in Egypt, where a night-time nationwide curfew is still in place

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