How One Family is Celebrating a Different Ramadan

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The coronavirus pandemic has affected religious holidays this year including Easter in mid-April and Ramadan, which started April 24.

“We had to be really more introspective this Ramadan and spend sometimes more time in solitude which isn’t always such a bad thing because you have to really think about your faith on your own sometimes,” said community member Arif Salem. “It forces us to really work on charging our spiritual batteries in a more personal way.”

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim Lunar calendar. During this time, healthy individuals fast from sunrise to sunset. This includes no food, liquids, and even negative speech and actions. This is a way to learn patience and break bad habits.

Fasting is also an act of worship and a way to remember those in need.

Once the sun goes down, the fast is broken with the evening meal known as Iftar.

A Different Ramadan

“One thing I usually look forward to in Ramadan is going to people’s houses for dinner and Iftar and being able to connect with them, but of course because of COVID-19 we can’t interact with people,” said Sarina Saleem.

Losing that community connection has been one of the biggest changes this year, but it’s also brought this family closer.

They’ve found some creative ways to celebrate by creating their own prayer space, sitting down to learn more about prophets like Noah and Moses, and even playing a trivia game with questions about their faith.

“Just to keep us all in that thought process,” said Alzena Saleem. “This is our blessed month and we’re enjoying it as well, even though we’re not having interaction with our community and our friends.”

And once their stomachs are full and they’ve had dinner, there’s one more tradition the family has started.

“They had to write something they were thankful for about every other person in the family,” said Alzena. “We take out one of our little gratitude cards and we read them off so that’s been really nice for everyone.”

This Ramadan might be different, but it’s also brought this family and other ones closer together.

Ramadan Mubarak to everyone celebrating in our community!

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.