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Coronavirus: Celebrating Ramadan while physically distancing

Thousands in Saskatoon's Muslim community gathered Monday to pray, marking the conclusion of a month long fast.
Thousands normally gather across Saskatchewan during Ramadan. Aaron Streck / Global News

Ramadan is expected to begin Thursday evening, depending on the position of the moon.

The annual Islamic celebration is a time of self-reflection, fasting and prayer, but will look slightly different this year because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan businesses prepare as province rolls out plan to reopen

People won’t be gathering in mosques, but will still be able to be together online. Mosques across Canada and organizations like Islamic Relief Canada will be reciting the Quran each evening online.

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“We’re able to still come together as a community,” says Nisa Bano, Islamic Relief Canada Saskatchewan regional coordinator, “and being able to do this is comforting and a little bit reassuring at the same time, because you have something instead of nothing at all.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Cancellation of Saskatchewan drive-in church service questioned

Ramadan is also a time of giving back to the community.

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“Ramadan’s primary concept is charity and making financial sacrifices,” Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at serving missionary Naveed Iqbal Qadiani said.

“That’s why the charity we are focusing our discussion on is helping neighbors, particularly elders and those in need during this lockdown.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan to start reopening from the coronavirus pandemic on May 4

Qadiani said the Islamic community has had a positive outlook heading into Ramadan.

“It’s a change because normally we go to the mosque, but this is another beautiful thing which we are experiencing that we are at home and enjoying our family time,” Qadiani said.

Ramadan, which lasts thirty days, is expected to continue until May 23.

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