World

Ramadan: Muslims fast under coronavirus lockdowns

A Muslim devotee attends a prayer on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Kathmandu Image copyright AFP
Image caption A Muslim devotee attends a prayer in Kathmandu amid a government-imposed lockdown across Nepal
Presentational white space

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.

The Kaaba in Mecca's Great Mosque stands largely empty Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mecca's Grand Mosque would normally be full of worshippers during Ramadan, but now stands largely empty
An imam arrives to make the call to pray in New York Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In New York, this imam made the afternoon call to prayer at an empty mosque
Customers wait to buy food in Lahore, Pakistan Image copyright AFP
Image caption In Pakistan, customers maintained social distancing while buying food to break their fast
A man breaks his fast outside the empty Jama Masjid in Delhi Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A man breaks his fast outside Delhi's Jama Masjid, which is also closed as India remains under lockdown
A Muslim woman wearing a face mask and rubber gloves prays Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Muslims in Jerusalem prayed in an alley of the Old City on Friday
An imam in Indonesia broadcasts a recitation of the Koran Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In Indonesia - the world's most populous Muslim country - the government has banned travel during Ramadan
Street vendors sell food in Niger's capital Niamey Image copyright AFP
Image caption Calm returned to Niger's capital Niamey after protests against the coronavirus restrictions, including the ban on collective prayers
Women look from the windows of their house in the town of Toukh, Egypt Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A house is decorated with traditional Ramadan lanterns in the town of Toukh, in Egypt, where a night-time nationwide curfew is still in place

All images subject to copyright.

More on this story