Call for Muslims in the Netherland to celebrate Ramadan at home without guests
The fasting month of Ramadan will start next week for approximately 1 million Muslims in the Netherlands. It is the second Ramadan during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Contact Body for Muslims and Government (CMO), which represents 380 mosques, therefore calls on Muslims to celebrate Ramadan at home with the family and not to visit family and friends.
The fasting starts around April 13 this year; Monday or Tuesday. During the month of fasting, Muslims are not allowed to eat and drink during the day between sunrise and sunset. The fasting is broken in the evening with a meal. Normally this is celebrated with large gatherings, but these cannot take place now.
"Ramadan is fun and good food, but that is not the essence. It is also a moment of reflection to come to yourself," says CMO board member Saïd Bouharrou. He himself celebrated it alone with his family last year. "I found it very special, very special. You put your focus much more on yourself and your own spirituality."
Night prayer and the coronavirus curfew
Bouharrou is concerned about the last prayer. He has received signals that six to seven large mosques would remain open overnight during Ramadan, so that the last prayer in the mosque can continue.
"And this is not about small mosques. I am very concerned about that. If you are together with so many people at night, then safety is at stake." And that safety is important, says Bouharrou. He wants to prevent a situation like the one in Urk, where a large church decided to abandon the corona measures. "I think there is less support for the measures within each religion. But this is a very bad example. We take our responsibility."
The CMO has thus decided to close mosques overnight. "We didn't think that was a good idea within the CMO. We discussed it, and the idea was abandoned," said Bouharrou. The mosques are now closed for the night prayer due to the curfew, as these would be held after 10 p.m.
Ramadan ends around May 13 with Eid al-Fitr.