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COVID-19 forces changes to typical Ramadan celebrations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Ramadan begins Thursday at sundown, and just like what religious groups saw with Easter and Passover, celebrations are happening indoors. Ramadan is observed by Muslims across the globe. It’s a month-long event that includes fasting, self reflection, prayer and much more.

Typically this time of the year, mosques are packed. But just like other religious spaces during the pandemic, they are closed. Muslim Alliance of Indiana representatives say this will be a challenge as Ramadan is about the spirit of togetherness.

During Ramadan, those who are healthy enough to do it, fast from sun up until sun down every day for a month. They break that fast with a dinner that is often shared.

Not this time. Muslim Alliance of Indiana representatives said the community is in support of social distancing guidelines and is encouraging everyone to follow them.

If there is a so-called silver lining, representatives say this new approach to Ramadan will cut down on social distractions, allowing people to better self-reflect, and be grateful for the lives they have.

“It’s going to be difficult. It’s going to be hard. But you know people are going to make do with it. They are going to have virtual events,” said Fatima Hussain with the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. “They are going to spend more time if they have family in their homes. People are decorating their homes for the first time. People who maybe didn’t have time to do that in previous years.”

Muslim Alliance of Indiana representatives said resources will be posted online to better help others observe Ramadan safely at home.