OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -- Today is the first full day for what’s known as the holiest month for Muslims.
So, on Friday, KCTV5’s Abigael Jaymes visited the Islamic Center of Johnson County and spoke with a family about how dramatically different Ramadan will be this year amid coronavirus lockdowns.
Ramadan is when many Muslims refrain from food and water from dawn until sunset. It’s a whole month where many come together, now has individuals and families staying home amid the pandemic.
Social distancing runs counter to the very essence of Ramadan. It is a time that emphasizes community and is buzzing with excitement and happiness.
“It’s going to be sad,” said Moben Mirza. “Something will be missing.”
As Mirza preached a sermon from his kitchen table via Zoom, his boys reflected on the aspects of Ramadan they’ll miss this year.
“We won’t be able to have our nightly prayers at the mosque,” said 13-year-old Murad Mirza.
“I’ll miss the Eid party that we do, too,” said Miyaz Mirza, who is eight.
“Also, going to other people’s houses to breakfast and going to the mosque,” said 13-year-old Mahad Mirza.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year during which strict fasting is observed daily from sunrise to sunset. While many aspects focus on reflection, self-improvement and worship, just as much focus is on everyone coming together.
“People are improving really subtle things about their character,” said Moben Mirza. “Those things happen in the community. That shared experience happens in the community and that’ll be missed to a large extent.”
While many are adapting in ways they never have before, Mirza said the congregation is working so that the spiritual benefits of the month can still be attained.
Mirza said, “We’re doing everything else, whatever we can do. Online communities, delivering food baskets, calling people.”
For the Mirza brothers, they are also looking to the positives of the current situation.
“We don’t have to go to school, which makes it a lot easier to fast because you don’t see everybody else eating their food,” said Murad Mirza. “It doesn’t temp you.”
Speaking of eating, they said they’ll get more of their mom’s cooking with the current situation.
“It’s just better,” they said. “It’s just a lot better!”
Ramadan ends on May 23.