KATHMANDU, April 26: The Muslim community the world over is observing the month-long Ramadan festival at one of the most challenging times of world history - the COVID-19 pandemic.
The holy month of Ramadan began on Friday. In the past years, mosques around the world would be crowded with devotees during the festival. But this year, the mosques are largely empty as the devotees are staying home due to the unprecedented restrictions imposed by the government owing to the coronavirus crisis.
During Ramadan, Muslims all over the world join their families to break the fast at sunset and go to mosques to pray. But the coronavirus pandemic has changed their priorities, with curbs on large gatherings for prayers and public iftars, or meals to break the fast.
The festival falls on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is observed with fasting and prayer.
People from the Muslim community are reciting Namaj (Salah) at their respective homes due to the ongoing lockdown imposed by the government to stem the spread of coronavirus.
At a recent press meet, the chairperson of National Muslim Commission, Sameem Miya Ansari extended his best wishes to the Muslim community on the occasion of Ramadan.
Ansari asked everyone from his community to conduct prayers at home. "I request everyone to avoid crowds and conduct prayers at home," he said, adding that everyone should maintain physical distance to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.