How the Houston Islamic community is celebrating Ramadan during COVID-19

Saturday, April 25, 2020
Here's how Houstonians plan to observe Ramadan
With social distancing restrictions in place, this year's Ramadan observance will be quite different for Houston's Islamic community.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Today marks the beginning of Ramadan for the Islamic community. With social distancing, that means believers cannot meet for worship.

Ramadan is the holiest month of the Muslim calendar. Believers meet for prayer and readings and fast during the day.

RELATED: Ramadan 2020: What you need to know about the Islamic holy month

Leaders are urging the community to remain faithful, even as this pandemic changes traditional worship.

"We are doing everything possible to serve the Muslim community during this difficult time, but also to serve our fellow Americans," said Islamic Society of Greater Houston president Sohail Syed.

WATCH: Here's how the Islamic community in Houston is marking the beginning of Ramadan

How the Houston Islamic community is celebrating Ramadan during COVID-19

For the city's 250,000 Muslims, that means doing something unprecedented: skipping prayer at the mosque, according to Syed.

"We are obligated by our religion to follow the local law," Syed explained.

With local law restricting public gatherings, the city's mosques closed on March 17. More than a month later, Ramadan will have to be observed without in-person worship.

Instead, the ISGH is helping believers connect through Facebook. Daily readings of the Koran will be conducted via online video conferences through the Zoom app.

Syed has a prayer for everyone during these challenging times.

"I pray and I ask everyone to pray for God to forgive our sins and save human lives, and let us not go through this difficult time again," Syed said.

The ISGH will also be helping the Houston community by donating 1,400 boxes of groceries to those in need.

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