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National Muslim Task Force Recommendations for Ramadan During This Pandemic

MPAC joined the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19 to better serve our community

April 28, 2020


MPAC joins its fellow members on the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19, a coalition of over 70 individuals representing over 30 American Muslim organizations nationwide, to issue a joint statement on how best to practice Ramadan this year within the parameters of COVID-19 public health measures. The preservation of human life is one of the highest orders of Islamic law; therefore, this Ramadan, we must practice our prayers, iftars, and celebrations within our own homes to protect our own lives and the lives of others. Below is a brief summary of the statement. You can access the full statement here.  

The holy month of Ramadan is incredibly significant to Muslims in America and around the globe; it is a time of spiritual purification, social service, special rituals of communal meals, daytime fasting and nightly vigils of prayer. This year Muslims will need to modify their practices in light of the public health hazards COVID-19 presents. In accordance with recommendations from public health and religious authorities, the National Muslim COVID-19 Task Force strongly advises Muslim American communities to practice Ramadan in a safe, yet spiritually uplifting, manner. Preserving both human life as well as preserving religion are agreed-upon essential higher objectives of Islamic law, and the guidance and recommendations provided herein balance these core end-goals.

We thus strongly recommend:  

  1. Households, community organizations, and individuals should continue to follow public health and state authority guidance. Specifically they should continue the practice of physical distancing and adhere to restrictions on public gatherings.  
  2. Mosques and Islamic centers should adhere to local regulations about public gatherings, and as such not establish communal night vigils (taraweeh/qiyam ul-layl). Rather these Ramadan-related prayers can be performed by families and individuals in their own residences.   
  3. Individuals and corporations should donate their obligatory and non-obligatory alms (zakat and sadaqah) to organizations that are working on the front-lines to support those impacted, directly or indirectly, by the pandemic both within the United States and abroad. 
  4. Individuals upon whom Ramadan fasting is obligatory should fast, and those who have legitimate exemptions to or face credible hardship should exercise the appropriate option of feeding others or making up fasts based on their personal circumstances and in consultation with Islamic authorities.

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