This year, Ramadan, the Islamic holy month known for its dawn to dusk fasts, falls in the midst of a global pandemic. That means that many of Ramadan’s communal traditions, such as breaking fast with large groups of family and friends and attending night prayers at the mosque, will be placed on hold.
To prepare his local community for Ramadan in self-isolation, Omar Suleiman, a Texas-based imam and founder of the Yaqeen Institute in Dallas, has encouraged his community to shift perspective instead:
“This is an opportunity for us to learn to connect to God in a very prayerful way — in a way that involves deep meditation, contemplation, introspection, reflection in our homes, where we don’t have the Ramadan crowds around us to motivate us to stand longer in prayer. And so we’re forced to only be motivated by that longing for God’s pleasure.”