(CNN)It is no secret that Ramadan this 12 months appeared very totally different for Muslims all over the world.
The coronavirus pandemic took praying in congregation and breaking quick with family members off the desk, leaving many feeling lonely this holy month.
And now that Ramadan has ended, Eid al-Fitr, one of the crucial festive holidays in Islam, can be a somber affair, similar to the month that preceded it.
A 3-day vacation Muslims rejoice to mark the tip of the quick, Eid al-Fitr, or “competition of breaking the quick” in Arabic, will fall over Memorial Day weekend this 12 months, spanning from Might 24 to 26.
If it had been some other 12 months, this is able to be a time of limitless pleasure and celebration over getting by a troublesome month. It might be a three-day feast of gift-giving and gorging on meals. Of visits to the properties of family members. Of tithing these much less lucky.
However this 12 months is totally different.
That is the 12 months when the world unexpectedly got here to a halt, making a casualty of what is without doubt one of the happiest instances within the Muslim calendar.
Eid al-Fitr within the US epicenter of Covid-19: cancelled prayers and plans
In New York, the epicenter of the virus in the US, Eid can be particularly isolating this 12 months.
Mazhar Ladji, a product supervisor who moved to New York from India 4 years in the past, was trying ahead to attending the early morning prayer on the primary day of Eid in Washington Sq. Park with the Islamic Heart at New York College. However the annual prayer was cancelled this 12 months because of Covid-19.
“It felt celebratory coming collectively at Washington Sq. Park, wearing our greatest garments and greeting one another after the prayer,” mentioned Ladji, who additionally beforehand attended a post-prayer brunch with fellow Muslims. “There can be no prayers, no brunch and no hugs.”
This 12 months, a Zoom name will substitute the congregational out of doors prayer for Ladji.
Ladji is not the one Muslim in New York who needed to change his plans.
Round this time every year, Sarah Moawad would normally be packing her luggage to go to Massachusetts to spend Eid along with her household. This 12 months, Moawad is staying in her house in Harlem along with her roommate, who can be a Muslim.
“Me and my roommate are nonetheless making an attempt brainstorm methods to make Eid festive this 12 months,” mentioned Moawad. “Possibly somewhat picnic on our roof or within the park,” mentioned Moawad.
Naoual Elidrissi, an accountant for a small meals enterprise who lives alone in Queens, plans to spend Eid the identical manner she spent Ramadan: alone.
“It is higher to be protected than sorry,” mentioned Elidrissi, who lives 10 minutes away from her aged dad and mom however does not go to them out of worry of spreading the virus.
Eid al-Fitr is normally a really thrilling time for Elidrissi, who has a variety of prolonged household in New York Metropolis.
“Yearly we gown as much as the nines and go to all our household in Brooklyn and Queens. Then my cousins and I’m going out for an evening of dancing,” mentioned Elidrissi. “This 12 months, I will in all probability simply FaceTime my household.”
Celebrating Eid whereas preventing the virus
For Mohamed Madboly, issues are somewhat extra difficult this 12 months.
Mohamed Madboly, who’s quarantined together with his dad and mom, aunt and cousin in his Queens dwelling, hasn’t been capable of spend Ramadan together with his three nieces on Lengthy Island like he normally does. Each him and his dad and mom examined optimistic for coronavirus, which meant that seeing his nieces over FaceTime was the one possibility this 12 months.
“Once I noticed my youngest niece crawl for the primary time on FaceTime, it actually obtained me,” mentioned Madboly of his eight-month-old niece, Nelly. “It made me really feel like we’re in several international locations when she’s actually simply 10 minutes away.”
Madboly and his household nonetheless hope to spend Eid in his sister’s yard on Lengthy Island like they do yearly. To do that safely, Madboly and his relations in quarantine have every taken Covid-19 assessments that they hope will come again destructive in time for the vacation.
We’re praying that every one 5 of us take a look at destructive,” mentioned Madboly. “It might be an ideal time to see the remainder of the household and rejoice since we weren’t capable of sit at an iftar collectively this Ramadan.”
Getting ready for the worst, hoping for the very best
For a lot of Muslims, Eid al-Fitr this 12 months is a painful reminder of happier instances.
A as soon as undeniably jubilant time now feels prefer it was a part of a unique life. It virtually appears unfitting to rejoice in gentle of so many lives misplaced to the virus.
However even in seemingly bleak instances, perspective is the whole lot.
“Sure, it is not the very best case situation, however we have now to be grateful,” mentioned Elidrissi. “We’re nonetheless alive, proper? A minimum of we have now that.”
“It is unhappy however the disaster calls for that we act responsibly … and keep eager for higher days,” mentioned Ladji.