'It’s sad': Saskatoon Muslims face second year of COVID-19 restrictions during Ramadan
SASKATOON -- It’s the second year in a row that Ramadan won’t be the same for the Muslim community in Saskatoon.
On Tuesday, Premier Scott Moe announced new limits on worship gatherings for the entire province, which also happens to be the first day of Ramadan.
“It was sad to hear that because we were trying to make do with the limits we already had which was 150 people,” said Mubarik Syed, the public and media relations spokesperson at Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Saskatoon.
Syed says Ramadan is a time when Muslims socialize more than usual and one of the reasons they go to the mosque to pray five times a day.
Iftar is a crucial part of the holiday. It’s when Muslims break their fast at sunset and gather to have dinner together at the mosque or at home, something that won’t be possible this year.
“It’s sad but we’re kind of used to it now because it’s the second year in a row. We never thought in our wildest imaginations that we would be having this kind of Ramadan,” Syed said.
Syed says when the organization announced that there would no longer be additional prayers at Baitur Rahmat Mosque and numbers would be reduced for prayers, quite a few people reached out to show their sadness and disappointment.
Regardless of limited gatherings, Syed is looking at the silver lining.
“I found that we as a family have a much stronger bond between the children, my wife and we will have our ‘mini mosque’ built at our home and will do prayers at home and spend that time together.”
Mateen Raazi, who is part of the media committee of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan, says he understands the need for restrictions.
“We are part of the community and we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep people safe.”
The province will be reviewing the new measures on April 26.
Syed hopes that the measures will be lifted in time for Eid celebrations on May 12, a holiday that marks the end of month-long fasting of Ramadan.