Today is the beginning of Ramadan, the month of fast, the month of mercy, hope, giving, sharing meals, distributing food to the poor and elderly, and going to the mosque for prayers and lectures.
After a long day of fasting for about 14 hours, dates are sweeter, soup feels warmer, and hot tea and sweets taste better when shared with family and friends.
This Ramadan is different due to the COVID-19. We will eat our food at home and will not be able to share food with anyone because of the fear of the virus. We will not be able to give freshly baked sweets to our non-Muslim neighbors as we normally do every Ramadan because they are elderly and we do not want to threaten their lives, and we will not be able to line up at the bakeries on Warren Avenue in dearborn late at night to buy fresh bread and treats. We will have to make them at home.
The furthest we can go to is our backyard, the sidewalks around the block, and for a short drive in the car. We will do everything either alone at home or shared on the screen of the telephone or the computer through different social apps.
But it is okay. We are still blessed. Our friends, families, and neighbors are healthy. We have food on our table, a home, a car, and access to the internet and social media to communicate with our families and friends locally and internationally.
We have more time to pray and be close to the Lord, more time to evaluate and reflect, more time to connect with each other and plan for our future, more time to call and connect with friends and family members we have not talked to for years. Maybe this crisis was meant for us to take a break from everything and focus on ourselves and grow spiritually.
We ask the Lord to help us learn and emerge stronger from this crisis. Sweetness awaits us after the dates and warmth after the soup. As for baklava, they will be delicious. Have faith.
Happy Ramadan to all of you, wishing you a safe and productive Ramadan.
Community reflection on Ramadan