Ramadan has ended and Eid has come and gone, but I would like to share what I have experienced during this time. Rituals are family traditions, holidays, rites of passage, and religious beliefs that we perform to create and give meaning to our lives. When a ritual is halted, or something happens in a family that causes the ritual to change, we sometimes find it difficult to transition to the next part of our lives. While we were blessed to have witnessed an occasion where we had to celebrate both Ramadan and Eid from home, for Muslims, this was definitely a ritual-changer. This pandemic has reminded me of the beauty of traditions and rituals that bring people together. As you know, many Muslims wait for this special month to pull out every special dish, spiritual prayer, family games, powerful supplications, and overall family and community connections. But when the American Government called for a national shutdown in March, we all held our breaths in anticipation, hoping that it wouldn’t last until the holy month of Ramadan. But it did, and now that it’s over I would like to hold a space about the experience.
Iftar & Taraweeh at home
For many Muslims, one of our biggest rituals in Ramadan is being able to break their fast in the mosque as a community and praying Taraweeh prayer (Night prayer that is only performed in the month of Ramadan). This year, we were not able to do that, and that hurt many people. It changed the dynamic of Ramadan, and we were all forced to adapt and shift our perspective of what Ramadan is and means to us, and how best we can emulate it to fit our needs.
Some people used this as an opportunity to pray Taraweeh prayer at home with the family, and build their family ties. Others used this as an opportunity to become closer to their deen (faith) from within, and have a more spiritual/individual Ramadan. Ramadan from home turned into a slow down for many working individuals, they were able to witness the energy of Ramadan in a way that they have never had before when they were working hard to implement it into their everyday lives.
Eid Al-Fitr at Home
Ramadan gave many Muslims something to look forward too; while the rest of the world was anxious and following the news of Covid-19, many Muslims were able to experience the larger picture. To seek solace in God, pray for a cure, for their community, and for the world. As for Eid, or as many Muslims were calling it “Quarant-Eid” and “Cov-Eid” was harder to adjust too. Where Ramadan is a month of fasting and submission, Eid is a celebration.
I personally found it hard to adjust to a celebration from home, and not being able to hug, kiss, and connect with others who are celebrating all around me. For others, Eid was used as a celebration at home and having picnics and BBQs in the backyard. For everyone overall, I believe that this was an experience that we all agree is like an episode from the twilight zone. Many people are happy about it and will be utilizing these new rituals into their next Ramadan and Eid. And others are grateful to have lived through the experience and learning to never take any moment for granted again.
What was your Ramadan and Eid like? If you created any new rituals, comment and let us all know down below. If you did not, let us know how you felt and coped during this time.