On Eid eve, Ramzan is unusually quiet and sombre

Ramzan Coronavirus
Muslims across the country are adapting to the crisis but it has been hard for them to accept the new normal, especially in not having the mosque as their centre of rallying point during Ramzan. | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Against the fading evening light, the Big Mosque in Chennai — usually bustling with devotees during Ramzan — stands desolate. The thousands of small and big lights illuminating the winding roads of Triplicane seem to have melted into a dystopia of never-ending gloom.

For 45-year-old Shaziya, this is surreal. “I can’t remember a Ramzan when the streets are not bursting at the seams. But the Coronavirus has changed everything in one fell swoop.”

Social distancing vs congregating

The holy month of Ramzan is traditionally a time for congregation. But this year, mosques are shut for taraweeh (nightly prayers), there have been no iftar parties nor the special outings with extended family and friends.

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