The coronavirus pandemic took praying in congregation and breaking quick with family members off the desk, leaving many feeling lonely this holy month.
And now that Ramadan has ended, Eid al-Fitr, probably the most festive holidays in Islam, might be a somber affair, similar to the month that preceded it.
A 3-day vacation Muslims have a good time to mark the tip of the quick, Eid al-Fitr, or “pageant of breaking the quick” in Arabic, will fall over Memorial Day weekend this 12 months, spanning from Could 24 to 26.
If it have been some other 12 months, this may be a time of limitless pleasure and celebration over getting by a troublesome month. It might be a three-day feast of gift-giving and gorging on meals. Of visits to the properties of family members. Of tithing these much less lucky.
However this 12 months is completely different.
That is the 12 months when the world unexpectedly got here to a halt, making a casualty of what is without doubt one of the happiest occasions within the Muslim calendar.
Eid al-Fitr within the US epicenter of Covid-19: cancelled prayers and plans
In New York, the epicenter of the virus in the US, Eid might be particularly isolating this 12 months.
Mazhar Ladji, a product supervisor who moved to New York from India 4 years in the past, was wanting ahead to attending the early morning prayer on the primary day of Eid in Washington Sq. Park with the Islamic Middle at New York College. However the annual prayer was cancelled this 12 months on account of Covid-19.
“It felt celebratory coming collectively at Washington Sq. Park, wearing our greatest garments and greeting one another after the prayer,” mentioned Ladji, who additionally beforehand attended a post-prayer brunch with fellow Muslims. “There might be no prayers, no brunch and no hugs.”
This 12 months, a Zoom name will exchange the congregational out of doors prayer for Ladji.
Ladji is not the one Muslim in New York who needed to change his plans.
Round this time every year, Sarah Moawad would normally be packing her luggage to go to Massachusetts to spend Eid together with her household. This 12 months, Moawad is staying in her residence in Harlem together with her roommate, who can also be a Muslim.
“Me and my roommate are nonetheless attempting brainstorm methods to make Eid festive this 12 months,” mentioned Moawad. “Perhaps a bit picnic on our roof or within the park,” mentioned Moawad.
Naoual Elidrissi, an accountant for a small meals enterprise who lives alone in Queens, plans to spend Eid the identical manner she spent Ramadan: alone.
“It is higher to be secure than sorry,” mentioned Elidrissi, who lives 10 minutes away from her aged mother and father however would not go to them out of worry of spreading the virus.
Eid al-Fitr is normally a really thrilling time for Elidrissi, who has lots of prolonged household in New York Metropolis.
“Yearly we costume as much as the nines and go to all our household in Brooklyn and Queens. Then my cousins and I am going out for an evening of dancing,” mentioned Elidrissi. “This 12 months, I will in all probability simply FaceTime my household.”
Celebrating Eid whereas combating the virus
For Mohamed Madboly, issues are a bit extra difficult this 12 months.
Mohamed Madboly, who’s quarantined together with his mother and father, aunt and cousin in his Queens residence, hasn’t been capable of spend Ramadan together with his three nieces on Lengthy Island like he normally does. Each him and his mother and father examined optimistic for coronavirus, which meant that seeing his nieces over FaceTime was the one possibility this 12 months.
“After I noticed my youngest niece crawl for the primary time on FaceTime, it actually received me,” mentioned Madboly of his eight-month-old niece, Nelly. “It made me really feel like we’re in several international locations when she’s actually simply 10 minutes away.”
Madboly and his household nonetheless hope to spend Eid in his sister’s yard on Lengthy Island like they do yearly. To do that safely, Madboly and his members of the family in quarantine have every taken Covid-19 assessments that they hope will come again adverse in time for the vacation.
We’re praying that every one 5 of us take a look at adverse,” mentioned Madboly. “It might be an ideal time to see the remainder of the household and have a good time since we weren’t capable of sit at an iftar collectively this Ramadan.”
Making ready for the worst, hoping for the perfect
For a lot of Muslims, Eid al-Fitr this 12 months is a painful reminder of happier occasions.
However even in seemingly bleak occasions, perspective is all the pieces.
“Sure, it is not the perfect case state of affairs, however we have now to be grateful,” mentioned Elidrissi. “We’re nonetheless alive, proper? No less than we have now that.”
“It is unhappy however the disaster calls for that we act responsibly … and keep looking forward to higher days,” mentioned Ladji.