The coronavirus outbreak threatens to upend faith-based traditions that have gone on for almost 1,500 years. The world’s nearly 2 billion Muslims will not be able to hold communal feasts and prayers that are a hallmark of Ramadan, their holiest month, starting this week.
The pandemic has forced many governments to order restrictions on travel, gathering and collective prayers the likes of which the world has not seen before. Around the world, mosques that worshippers swarm during Ramadan are expected to be empty or have limited attendance.
In Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the doors of Kaaba, the holiest of sites for Muslims, usually full to the brim with worshippers from around the world during Ramadan. Now, they are closed. Masjid al-Nabawi, the mosque of Muhammad, the Muslim Prophet, is similarly shut. (Text courtesy VOA)