Montreal’s Muslim Community Celebrates Ramadan Without Restrictions – Montreal
Over the coming month, Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset, breaking their fast with a shared meal. They will also pray several times during the day.
But over the past two years, it’s been difficult to do that together as a community.
“For most of us, the past two years have become normal,” says Iman Raza Shah. “We’re used to walking into a building and keeping a distance and having boundaries, so this is the first year we haven’t had any of that.”
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Last year, Quebec was still under curfew, which made it difficult for many Muslims to pray at the mosque.
“We had some of our prayers after 8 p.m. and some of our prayers also before 5 a.m., so we had to limit our prayers because of the curfew last year,” Shah says.
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If Ramadan is also a time for individual reflection, for Ali Raza, a member of the Ahmadiyya Islamic Center, being able to pray with his community means a lot.
“Last year we ate at home, we prayed at home,” he says. “Now we are happy to be together, everyone gathers in a mosque. We are much happier.
There are still a lot of precautions, according to Shah. Everyone must be double vaccinated to go to the mosque.
Start of Ramadan
“We are very happy and we are certainly taking advantage of the situation, but at the same time we remain cautious,” he said.
“People are encouraged to come to the mosque but no one is forced to,” Shah said. “So anyone who wants to pray at home or anyone who prefers to pray at home, is of course welcome and allowed to pray at home.”
Ramadan lasts 30 days and ends on May 1.
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