As Ramadan begins, central Ohio Muslim community looks for ways to worship amid COVID-19

Local News

DUBLIN, Ohio (WCMH) — Monday marks the first day of Ramadan for many in the Muslim community in central Ohio, but things are looking very different in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Last year, the Noor Islamic Cultural Center had to cancel its month-long routine of going to the mosque to perform their prayers during their holiest month. Though this year they can be together, it will be limited.

The center will be allowing up to 150 people inside the mosque during their time of prayer, reflection, and community.

“We will be hosting a limited amount of people as the weather permits,” said Imran Malik, outreach interfaith director for Noor Islamic Cultural Center. “Some people are allowed to pray in the parking lot as well. Mostly, we will try to accommodate registered people within the building capacity. The capacity is around 800 people.”

For those who decide to be either inside and in the parking lot, they will be required to mask up and socially distance in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone healthy, with temperature checks required upon entrance.

“We miss our brothers and sisters,” said Imam Abdel Moneim. “We miss everyone. Yes. It looks different, but it’s better than nothing.”

Moneim, who is the Imam (leads prayer in mosque), said he remembers the loneliness he felt last year.

“It was very painful,” he said. “It was very painful to find yourself inside the mosque by yourself and there is nobody here. I was praying by myself.”

Like other churches and places of worship, social media platforms like YouTube, Zoom, and Facebook have helped keep their community connected in a time of need. For those still not comfortable attending the mosque in person, Noor Islamic Cultural Center will be streaming on those platforms.

“The limitations of the pandemic have offered other ways of engagement and other ways of community work as well, ” Malik said.

Ramadan will end on Wednesday, May 12. Anyone in the community is welcome to join them.

The full list of restrictions and changes for the next 29 days of prayer are listed below and come from their Facebook page at their Dublin location:

  • Wearing masks is mandatory even if you are praying outside in the parking lot.
  • We encourage everyone to bring their own prayer mats and highly recommended making Wudu at home as the Wudu area is closed.
  • If you are praying in the Musalla, please keep the shoes with yourself and do not use the shoe racks. Please carry your own bags to keep your shoes.
  • Our Volunteers will be working all 30 days to make the Ramadan experience beautiful for everyone. Please be patient and cooperative with them.

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