We’re all sitting on that flattened red carpet that’s been bearing the sajdas of hundreds of Muslim sisters for who knows how many years. We’re passing the dates to one another while the adhan for Maghrib is happening.
I never thought that I’d have this sort of environment, sense of belonging to a Muslim community when I first reverted to Islam four years ago. This feeling of belonging is part of what keeps me going throughout my days. I can come to the mosque, and I won’t be turned away. I can, without any hesitation, ask questions to sisters and feel their sincerity in their answers.
I pray that each Ramadan I’m able to be close to well-meaning individuals and the doors of the mosque remain open.
March 13, 2020. The first lockdown has been announced in the Covid-19 era.
Everything has either slowed down, shut down or picked up pace ever since the first lockdown was announced. One thing that we all know is going to remain closed during this Covid-19 Ramadan are the mosques.
The past few years, Ramadan has always been the highlight of the year, and now with social isolation restricting us from so many activities we cherished, such as being able to pray tarawih in mosques, we need to adapt. The strong presence of community will no longer be there for me, as I’ll be the only one fasting at home, while at least others can have family iftars. I’ll be the only one awake at nights trying to fix myself suhoor without making too much noise.
I’ll simply be the only one.
Of course, my family always means well. They buy Halal meat specifically because of me and they gift me hijabs on Eid. But all that didn’t decrease the feeling of loneliness that persisted – despite being surrounded by loved ones – during my first Covid Ramadan.
It’s the second Covid Ramadan now.
And, there has been many changes throughout the year. There’s been vaccine rollouts, new variants of the virus, more lockdowns and curfews.
A second time around, now I know what to expect. I know I’ll be the only one at home fasting, but that doesn’t mean I’m alone at home. I know I’ll be the only one praying tarawih at home, but that doesn’t mean no one is making dua for me. I know that on Eid, just like every year, my family will celebrate with me.
I would just like to remind anyone reading this that if you do know anyone who might be alone this Ramadan, please do reach out in any way you can. Giving your time is one of the most precious things you can give this Ramadan.
“The […] most beloved of deeds according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificent, is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslims, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt or stave away hunger from him […].”– Hadith: Tabarani, Hasan
About the Author:
Erika Aranciba is born and raised in Montréal and has a Hispanic background from Chile. She was raised as a Christian Adventist, but in 2016 she converted to Islam.