COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions
What Impact Will the COVID-19 Crisis Have on Ramadan, and Ramadan on COVID-19 Response?

Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims across the world, has begun. It is a time when the rhythm of life changes in Muslim communities everywhere. During Ramadan, Muslims fast and abstain during sunlight hours, then join together to eat, pray, and socialize. There is much spiritual reflection as well as activities that strengthen communities. This is prompting reflections on how this year, under the shadow of COVID-19, will be different.

Muslims face a very different Ramadan this year. Instead of tarawih, Ramadan nightly prayers, and tadarus, the Ramadan Qur’an recital, taking place in mosques, Muslims are advised to stay at home. Instead of enjoying large gatherings with extended family members and friends, Muslims are asked to take sahur, the pre-fast meal, and iftar, the fast breaking dinner, individually or in their households. Togetherness, community and maintaining spiritual bonds are important themes during Ramadan and many choose to break their fast with extended family. The government in Turkey is set to bring back almost 25,000 expatriates from 59 countries, who are affected by travel restrictions due to COVID-19, to allow them to spend Ramadan at home with their families. However, government authorities in many other countries are concerned that traveling to spend Ramadan, or Eid al-Fitr that marks its close, with family members may contribute to the spread of COVID-19.

The Indonesian government is concerned that the mudik, the yearly event in which millions of Muslims leave Jakarta and other major cities to return to their villages and towns to be reunited with their families, will contribute to spreading COVID-19. During this mass exodus, transportation across the island of Java is normally extremely congested, making physical distancing impossible as buses and trains overflow with passengers. Vice President Ma’ruf Amin has asked the Indonesian Ulema Council, the nation’s top Muslim clerical body, to declare the mudik to be haram (forbidden). Similarly, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has issued an order banning all civil servants, security force members, and employees of state-owned enterprises from traveling home during the month of Ramadan. He is considering extending the order to the rest of the nation, to include the tens of millions of migrant workers who usually leave the large cities where they work to return home to their families for Ramadan.

(Based on: April 8, 2020, France 24 article; April 9, 2020 Benar News article; April 17, 2020, Daily Sabah article; and April 18, 2020, Gulf News and AA articles.) 

Upcoming Event
April 30, 12:00 p.m. EDT
The COVID-19 Crisis: Adaptions and Tensions During the Month of Ramada

How are different communities adapting traditional practices that mark the holy month of Ramadan during the shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 crisis? In this conversation, participants from Muslim communities around the world will explore the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on religious practices and gatherings during Ramadan and the role of faith leadership and communities in adapting these practices.

Please RSVP at least 24 hours in advance of the event start time to receive the webinar link.
Help Spread the Word
Share the sign-up form for the daily emails:

Share the online platform:

If you have news articles, guides, or other relevant resources you wish to share with us for review please email We are particularly interested in learning more about groups facing acute vulnerabilities (refugees, elderly, those impacted by the digital divide, in fragile states, etc.). Please send us any information you see.
Georgetown University Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
3307 M Street NW, Suite 200︱Washington, DC 20007

You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to the
COVID-19: Exploring Faith Dimensions mailing list.
update your preferences I unsubscribe from this list | View this email in your browser

Copyright © 2020 Georgetown University. 
All rights reserved.