Ramadan During Quarantine

Ramadan is a holy month in Islam that 1.7 billion Muslims around the world celebrate for thirty days every year. Each year, relatives and family friends have iftar parties. But quarantine has made some major changes to our regular ramadan. Here is a regular Ramadan: Three days prior to the first day, you bake cookies or prepare chocolate dates for your family and friends and make large amounts of kubba (a middle eastern dish) and samosas to freeze them for an easy iftar. The house is under redecoration and you are debating where to put the lanterns, or if you did not get enough lanterns. Fairy lights are all around the house and gold and neutral colors fill the living room. The night before Ramadan is always special. Your Instagram feed is filled with memes, You have just sent out Ramadan Kareem ecards to all your contacts. The first day of Ramadan is always hard, but you know it’s going to be worth it when you pray with your friends later after a feast. You get to the mosque and you see people you haven’t seen in ages. The guys are putting out the seats in the women’s section and everything is beautifully decorated. It feels like heaven on earth. It is 2 am and you and your friends are at IHOP eating suhoor/sehri. 

Ramadan this year is so much different. Every Ramadan you feel the unity between the community and generosity, but many feel more disconnected than ever this year. Of course, during quarantine everyone is in 40 different Ramadan group chats but the unity and wholeness Ramadan gives us are not there. Shukryia Hasunka, a junior at Randolph Macon Academy, said “It’s been so hard without gatherings; it was the one time I get to see my friends. It’s been bad with quarantine, especially being in a non-muslim country.” Hasunka said that she has been able to be more spiritual this Ramadan with all this extra time, but the essence of the month is not there. This year we have seen a surplus of Ramadan group chats and zoom parties to make up for all the time together we missed this Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem!