Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 August 2020

RAMADAN

Homemade tents and iftars on Zoom: How people around the world are marking #Ramadanathome

People are using the hashtag to share their experiences of celebrating the holy month while practising social distancing

There is no denying that for many marking the holy month, Ramadan is a little different this year.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many Muslims are spending the holy month in doors in a bid to spread the stem of Covid-19.

Mosques will remain closed in many countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt, with large gatherings also curbed as part of social distancing measures.

In the UAE, groups of more than five people are not allowed to gather, while the elderly, and people with chronic diseases that make them more vulnerable to the virus must stay at home.

Tents and Ramadan majalis are banned, and the exchanging of food between households is prohibited, with similar measures introduced in many countries with a majority Muslim population.

It's certainly different from the more congregational celebrations usually hosted during the holy month.

However, many observing Ramadan have chosen to get creative while complying with guidelines.

Using the hashtag #RamadanAtHome, social media users around the world are showing followers how they've incorporated traditions of the holy month into their daily life.

Here are some of the best posts so far.

A homemade mosque

Yahya, an 8-year-old boy from Yorkshire, in the UK, has built his own mosque in his family home, using cardboard, fairy light and sweet wrappers.

"It's important to make the best of the situation that we are in and focus on what the spirit of the month is and the spirit of the month is showing gratitude," his mother, Auzma, told the BBC.

A backyard mosque

Another family in the UK have created a play to pray in their back garden.

"Our #RamadanAtHome mosque this year," wrote Mai Elftise on Twitter, alongside images of the tent, decorated with prayer mats.

An iftar spread

Amel Ali Ahmed, a filmmaker and journalist in the US, shared a picture of a brightly coloured trestle table set up under the night's sky, decorated with flowers and fairy lights and laden with sweet treats.

"Ramadan under quarantine doesn’t have to be so grim," she wrote.

Festive decorations

Many social media users have posted images of their artfully decorated home, festooned with lanterns and twinkling lights.

Instagram user Waafia, from California, showed her custom creation, a door adorned with paper fanoos lanterns, each filled with words that her family are grateful for – health, family, shelter, food, love and so on.

"I can feel the loneliness and longing for their friends and teachers at school. Ramadan was always a special time for them there – crafts, lessons, reminders, activities," she wrote, revealing her children are studying from home for the holy month. "I feel like I needed to bring the wonderful and welcoming Ramadan vibe they felt and experienced at school into my own home."

Community prayers

While many mosques are shut, those celebrating Ramadan from home can still share prayers with their neighbours, as this video shows.

As one family, in an unknown location, pray in their back garden, their neighbours join in on the opposite side of the fence in a touching display of community.

Breaking the fast online

With celebrations kept small between immediate families, many have used video-conferencing technology to keep in touch with loved ones.

Among those taking to Zoom during iftar this week was Prince Charles, with the British royal joining a virtual fast-breaking hosted by the Naz Legacy Foundation.

β€œIn different circumstances, this would have been a joyous time of year. Mosques would be filling with life, families would be coming together to share food and prayers and many of them would be inviting their neighbours and friends, from all faiths and none, to join them,” the next-in-line to the throne said.

Updated: April 26, 2020 04:11 PM

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