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In pictures: Coronavirus changes Ramazan for Muslims around the world — but not its spirit

Social distancing, live-streamed prayers and video calls form a large part of this year's Ramazan for observers.
Updated 27 Apr 2020

Mosques stood largely empty and fast-breaking feasts were cancelled as Muslims in Pakistan and around the world marked Ramazan under the coronavirus lockdown on Saturday.

Ramazan is typically a period of both worship and socialising, but this year strict lockdowns limit gatherings for iftar meals at dusk when the fast is broken — a centrepiece of the holy month.

But from Washington to Jakarta, Muslims are finding ways of keeping the spirit of Ramazan alive through charity and worship — with social distancing, live-streamed prayers and video calls forming a large part of this new normal.

Muslim people maintaining social distance stand in line to buy food for Iftar on the first day of Ramazan in Lahore. — AFP
Muslim people maintaining social distance stand in line to buy food for Iftar on the first day of Ramazan in Lahore. — AFP

This combination of pictures shows (up) devotees offer evening prayer after breaking their fast on the first day of Ramazan at the Jamia Mosque in Rawalpindi on May 7, 2019, and (bottom) a deserted Jamia Mosque on the first day of Ramazan on April 25, 2020. — AFP
This combination of pictures shows (up) devotees offer evening prayer after breaking their fast on the first day of Ramazan at the Jamia Mosque in Rawalpindi on May 7, 2019, and (bottom) a deserted Jamia Mosque on the first day of Ramazan on April 25, 2020. — AFP

Policemen pray before breaking their fast at a checkpoint on the first day of Ramazan in Karachi on April 25. — AFP
Policemen pray before breaking their fast at a checkpoint on the first day of Ramazan in Karachi on April 25. — AFP

A woman breaks her fast with free food from a nearby restaurant in Rawalpindi, Saturday. — AP
A woman breaks her fast with free food from a nearby restaurant in Rawalpindi, Saturday. — AP

Sara Alkabra, 9, gets up after finishing the iftar meal with mother Laila Almounaier, father Ahmed Alkabra and sister Lina Alkabra, 13, on the first day of Ramazan in Bellevue, Washington, US. — Reuters
Sara Alkabra, 9, gets up after finishing the iftar meal with mother Laila Almounaier, father Ahmed Alkabra and sister Lina Alkabra, 13, on the first day of Ramazan in Bellevue, Washington, US. — Reuters

A combination picture shows people eating their Iftar meals inside Juma Masjid on the first day of Ramazan May 7, 2019 and during a nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of the coronavirus in Ahmedabad, India, April 25, 2020. — Reuters
A combination picture shows people eating their Iftar meals inside Juma Masjid on the first day of Ramazan May 7, 2019 and during a nationwide lockdown to slow the spreading of the coronavirus in Ahmedabad, India, April 25, 2020. — Reuters

This combination of pictures shows (up) Muslims breaking their fast on the first day of Ramazan along a roadside in Rawalpindi on May 7, 2019, and (bottom) the same road deserted on the first day of Ramazan on April 25, 2020.  — AFP
This combination of pictures shows (up) Muslims breaking their fast on the first day of Ramazan along a roadside in Rawalpindi on May 7, 2019, and (bottom) the same road deserted on the first day of Ramazan on April 25, 2020. — AFP

A Muslim family prays before breaking their fast at a home in Malwana, Sri Lanka on April 25. — AFP
A Muslim family prays before breaking their fast at a home in Malwana, Sri Lanka on April 25. — AFP

Men distribute food to people on the first day of Ramazan in Karachi. — AFP
Men distribute food to people on the first day of Ramazan in Karachi. — AFP

An Indian worker hangs strands of vermicelli to dry at a factory in Prayagraj, India, Saturday. — AP
An Indian worker hangs strands of vermicelli to dry at a factory in Prayagraj, India, Saturday. — AP

Sheikhs Muhammad Alla Eldine, Caido Bashir Mudera and Mohamad Al Bukai conduct a social media live stream of the Taraweeh prayer in an almost empty mosque, on the first day of Ramazan in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 24. — Reuters
Sheikhs Muhammad Alla Eldine, Caido Bashir Mudera and Mohamad Al Bukai conduct a social media live stream of the Taraweeh prayer in an almost empty mosque, on the first day of Ramazan in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April 24. — Reuters

Sanitation workers disinfect the area around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque, on the first day of Ramazan. — AFP
Sanitation workers disinfect the area around the Kaaba in Makkah's Grand Mosque, on the first day of Ramazan. — AFP

Gohar Sultan (70) looks on as her family eats an Iftar meal at their house in the old quarters of Delhi, India, April 25. — Reuters
Gohar Sultan (70) looks on as her family eats an Iftar meal at their house in the old quarters of Delhi, India, April 25. — Reuters

Grandfather Osman Hoxha (C), his son Agron Hoxha (L) and his grandchildren pray at their home prior the iftar during Ramazan in Tirana, Albania on April 24. — AFP
Grandfather Osman Hoxha (C), his son Agron Hoxha (L) and his grandchildren pray at their home prior the iftar during Ramazan in Tirana, Albania on April 24. — AFP

This combination of pictures shows (up) people buying food for Iftar during Ramazan at a street in Dhaka on July 19, 2015, and (bottom) people walking along the same street on April 25, 2020. — AFP
This combination of pictures shows (up) people buying food for Iftar during Ramazan at a street in Dhaka on July 19, 2015, and (bottom) people walking along the same street on April 25, 2020. — AFP

A Syrian craftsman displays traditional "fanous" lanterns at his shop in the old city of Aleppo. — AFP
A Syrian craftsman displays traditional "fanous" lanterns at his shop in the old city of Aleppo. — AFP

A Kashmiri girl feeds pigeons on a deserted road outside the closed Shah-e-Hamadan shrine on the first day of Ramazan in Srinagar, Indian-occupied Kashmir, Saturday. — AP
A Kashmiri girl feeds pigeons on a deserted road outside the closed Shah-e-Hamadan shrine on the first day of Ramazan in Srinagar, Indian-occupied Kashmir, Saturday. — AP

A merchant selling kitchenware sits in his shop waiting for customers in Tajrish Bazaar in Iran's capital Tehran on April 25, during Ramazan. — AFP
A merchant selling kitchenware sits in his shop waiting for customers in Tajrish Bazaar in Iran's capital Tehran on April 25, during Ramazan. — AFP

An activist of Al-Khidmat Foundation arranges food for distribution in Peshawar on April 25. — AFP
An activist of Al-Khidmat Foundation arranges food for distribution in Peshawar on April 25. — AFP

A worshipper recites the Holy Quran at a mosque during the first day of Ramazan in Peshawar. — AP
A worshipper recites the Holy Quran at a mosque during the first day of Ramazan in Peshawar. — AP


Header image: Muslims offer prayers as they maintain social distance after having their Iftar meals inside an almost empty Juma Masjid on the first day of Ramazan in Ahmedabad, India, April 25. — Reuters