Fasting during the pandemic in Detroit, USA

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Shamshad Nasir, Missionary, USA

Muhammad Ahmad Sahib from Detroit reports that the holy month of Ramadan has started on 25 April 2020. While we are going through the Covid-19 pandemic and the state’s stay-at-home orders have been extended until 15 May 2020, it is a very different Ramadan for Muslims across the state of Michigan and USA this time.

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Rochester Hills used to have daily activities during the month of Ramadan in the past years since they moved into their new Mosque and Community Centre in Rochester Hills some 15 years ago. The activities would include heightened focus on prayers, daily Dars-ul-Quran (teaching of the Holy Quran) and food preparation for breaking the fast.

“This is the first time we would not be able to gather and pray together during these blessed days as a community”, said Maqbool Tahir Sahib, President of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Michigan.

However, we are trying to use technology to keep the community connected and engaged and continue our tradition of Ramadan during these difficult days. While social distancing guidelines are in place, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Rochester Hills will continue the tradition of the month of Ramadan via the use of technology. The community had made arrangements for members to join remotely via Zoom to participate and listen the daily Dars-ul-Quran (lectures of the Holy Quran).

Regional Missionary, Shamshad Nasir Sahib is conducting the daily Dars via Zoom and members are joining in large numbers to benefit from these sessions. The Sessions are being broadcast daily from the Mosque in Rochester Hills. More than 150 families/members are joining daily to benefit from these sessions. This is also to be remembered that in each home the five daily prayers are being offered in congregation and any elderly person or young man who knows how to lead the salat, is leading them in each home.

Another key feature of the month of Ramadan would be the annual “Ramadan Open House Dinner” where many public officials, interfaith leaders and the community at large would gather and break bread with members of the Jamaat.

Unfortunately, that would not be able to take place this year. Instead the community will be hosting a virtual interfaith prayer event where interfaith leaders will join via Zoom for virtual reflections on the power of prayers during the pandemic. The “Virtual Interfaith-Prayer” event is scheduled for 9 May 2020. Details will be circulated along with the Zoom link soon.

Members of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya USA are trying their best to reach out to those who are needy and less fortune, distributing food and other useable things for people like food items etc. We are also urging members to pray that may God Almighty save all from this pandemic and remove the hardships.

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