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COVID-19 brings a different Ramadan for Muslim community this year

In the next few days, Muslims will go on a month of fasting, but they won't be able to participate in iftar and prayers as usual.

FILE: The Nizamiye Turkish Mosque in the southern hemisphere. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Muslim Judicial Council on Thursday said Ramadan, which is set to start this week, would be spent vastly different compared to previous years as a result of COVID-19 and lockdown regulations.

In the next few days, Muslims will go on a month of fasting, but they won't be able to participate in iftar and prayers as usual.

Earlier this month, Christians couldn't congregate for Easter celebrations due to the lockdown, while Jewish families celebrated Passover via Skype, Zoom and other online platforms.

The sighting of the new moon signifies the start of Ramadan followed by a two-hour prayer at the mosque.

But this year, Muslims are forced to perform their prayers at home as mosques are closed due to the lockdown.

The Muslim Judicial Council's Abdul Khaliq Allie said this year's Ramadan would be different: “The reality is we have the opportunity to now breaking our fast with our families.”

Muslims have already not been able to perform their Friday prayers at the mosque.

This year's congregational prayers at the two holy mosques in Mecca and Madinah have been suspended.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.