From a personal and a community standpoint, The Holy month of Ramadan is certainly different this year.
There will be no family gatherings, whether they be immediate or extended. My children and their families will not be coming over as we usually do during this, the holiest month on the Muslim calendar. My son, who lives in Los Angeles, will not be coming home this year.
As of now, there are no Eid celebrations planned. And I don’t see any happening.
There are a few birthdays coming up in my family which we will not be able to physically gather. Instead, we will face time to celebrate Ramadan April and May birthdays virtually.
The Islamic Center of America will hold virtual lectures every night. But no community prayer. We will stay connected by social media and sharing photos and videos. Many of us are also getting pretty savvy at using Zoom and are incorporating this technology into our observance.
We have been able to get many of the Ramadan foods but the lines were long. Special desserts made during Ramadan may be hard to come by.
Islamic Center of America has delivered hundreds of food boxes to many needy families and in the coming weekends, they will be passing out boxes of food again.
Even though many of the traditions of Ramadan will be missed this year, one thing for certain you can still read Qu’ran, do your prays, and listen to lectures all from home. Which we may find a deeper connection with God this year being isolated from one another.
Donna Jawad is Community outreach coordinator for the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s disease
She is also a member and event coordinator of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.