In the world, a ramadan confined… or not

Dans le monde, un ramadan confiné... ou pas

In Gaza, this young Palestinian boy sells traditional lanterns (fanous) popular during the month of ramadan.

22 April 2020 22h01

Updated at 23h19


In the world, a ramadan confined… or not

Karine Perret

Agence France-Presse


PARIS — Some, confined spaces, will remain to pray at home, others will continue to go to the mosque. The fasting month of ramadan, which begins around Friday, in full pandemic coronavirus, will be lived in a disorganized manner throughout the world.

In many countries, so this will be “ramadan in private, away from each other and away from the mosques”, as the summary Taulant Bica, one of the leaders of the muslim community of albania.

Not gatherings for the big evening meal (iftar), not of night prayer in the mosque (taraweeh), not meeting friends until late into the night, not to travel in the holy cities of islam.

In the Middle East, from saudi Arabia to Morocco, passing by Egypt, Lebanon or Syria, where the confinement is widespread, the restrictions strict are supported in most cases by the religious authorities.

“Our hearts cry”, laments the muezzin of the Great Mosque of Mecca, deserted.

For this exceptional year, the world health Organization (WHO) had also clearly advocated “the cancellation of social gatherings and religious”, including “in places associated with the activities of ramadan, such as places of entertainment, markets and stores”.

But it specifies, however, that the containment does not relieve the muslims “in good health” fast, “as in previous years”. The ramadan is one of the five pillars of islam.

Dans le monde, un ramadan confiné... ou pas

A street in Egypt, decorated in anticipation of ramadan.

AFP, Khaled Desouki

In Iran, the Middle East countries most affected by the pandemic, the supreme guide of iran, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called on its citizens to avoid all demonstrations, without, however, neglecting the prayer.”

Fasting and prayers in the home, has also recommended that the religious affairs directorate, Diyanet, Turkey. In Russia, too, the faithful are encouraged to pray at home.

In Kosovo and Albania, two countries with a strong muslim majority, the faithful are asked to observe religious rituals at home, as well as in France, Austria, Germany. No collective prayers allowed either in Bulgaria or Bosnia.

Food parcels

In Germany, where the mosques remain closed in spite of the gradual lifting of restrictions in the coming weeks, places of worship in berlin were prepared “recitations of the Qur’an”, of “prayers” and “speaking line”. Similarly in the netherlands, a country not totally confined, where services of prayer of ramadan will be streamed to the faithful.

In sub-saharan Africa, the Senegalese, muslims in more than 90 %, are preparing for ramadan, out of the ordinary, with a ban on collective prayers and closure of mosques. The Senegalese will therefore be deprived of the “nafilas” (prayers after breaking the fast). The religious conferences, primary activity during this month are cancelled.

In addition, although ramadan is traditionally a period full of meetings and travel between the interior of the country, and Dakar, in edge of the Atlantic, the movements of population between the cities have been banned by the authorities.

In order that the aid to the most deprived is not too affected by the containment measures, associations and authorities are organised differently. As well in Turkey : the iftars outdoor public held in favor of the most needy will not be held, but the municipalities of Istanbul and Ankara are planning to distribute the dishes, or sending food parcels.

Dans le monde, un ramadan confiné... ou pas

In Pakistan, the imams have convinced the authorities not to close the places of worship.

AP, Fareed Kahn

In Senegal, Alassane Ndour, former international football in senegal, and his association does not offer meals, but to distribute “food, rice, sugar and millet”, he says.

And in each country, the religious authorities continue their traditional calls to the charity.

A “quota” of the faithful

In Asia, the continent where over a billion muslims, the security measures on health are more difficult to put in place, the faith taking the lead sometimes on any other consideration.

In Pakistan, the imams have convinced the authorities not to close the places of worship. Night after night, friends and families will celebrate together the iftar.

In Bangladesh, religious leaders have swept out the recommendations for health authorities. In this country, the authority has called to reduce the attendance in the mosques. “Islam does not support the imposition of any quota of the faithful”, has thundered an imam belonging to one of the main groups of imams in the country.

In Indonesia, where millions of people visit their towns and native villages after the ramadan, the government has finally banned these movements of population, for fear of an explosion of cases of COVID-19.

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