Amanda Skofstad | April 23, 2020
Muslims worldwide will enter Ramadan, the most sacred month in Islam, with millions of people still under stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic. How will the month-long season — with its traditional prayer, fasting and acts of charity — be shaped by the constraints of social distancing?
Mun’im Sirry, assistant professor of theology and expert in Quranic studies, said that while most Islamic practices are communal, fasting is Ramadan’s central and most distinctive practice, and is almost entirely hidden.
“While fasting has a strong social component, it is also very private between the believer and God,” he said. “There is an interesting Hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: ‘God says every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me, and I will reward for it.’ Fasting is singled out, according to some scholars, because showing off is possible for most good deeds in a way that is not true for fasting."
While the fasting may be obscured from public view, Ramadan’s other activities are often shared amongst Muslims, including Tarawih prayers (night prayers performed only during the month of Ramadan) at mosques and sharing the iftar meal with friends and extended family members.
Read more here.