Ramadan: Muslims fast under coronavirus lockdowns

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image source, AFP
image captionA Muslim devotee attends a prayer in Kathmandu amid a government-imposed lockdown across Nepal

Millions of Muslims around the world have found different ways to celebrate Ramadan this year, as restrictions imposed by countries to curb the spread of the coronavirus have closed mosques and banned gatherings.

This is when the world's 1.8 billion Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk.

Families and friends usually gather to break the fast and many attend prayers.

This year, however, people are having to mark the holy month at home instead.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it started on or around Thursday. In parts of the world particularly hard hit by the virus, this year's celebrations are tinged with sadness.

Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound has been closed to worshippers since mid-March and will not open during Ramadan. Even Islam's holiest site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has been affected by the pandemic.

image source, AFP
image captionMecca's Grand Mosque would normally be full of worshippers during Ramadan, but now stands largely empty
image source, Reuters
image captionIn New York, this imam made the afternoon call to prayer at an empty mosque
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image captionIn Pakistan, customers maintained social distancing while buying food to break their fast
image source, Reuters
image captionA man breaks his fast outside Delhi's Jama Masjid, which is also closed as India remains under lockdown
image source, Reuters
image captionMuslims in Jerusalem prayed in an alley of the Old City on Friday
image source, Reuters
image captionIn Indonesia - the world's most populous Muslim country - the government has banned travel during Ramadan
image source, AFP
image captionCalm returned to Niger's capital Niamey after protests against the coronavirus restrictions, including the ban on collective prayers
image source, Reuters
image captionA house is decorated with traditional Ramadan lanterns in the town of Toukh, in Egypt, where a night-time nationwide curfew is still in place

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