During Ramadan in isolation, Muslims get creative to preserve community

Rawalpindi Mosque, Pakistan

(Religion News Service) — The holy month of Ramadan, observed by fasting from dawn to dusk, has many themes: sacrifice, discipline, devotion, empathy, gratitude, generosity.

But for many Muslim communities, what defines Ramadan, which begins this week, are the moments of community: sharing platters of dates to break their fasts, the call to prayer reverberating through the halls of packed mosques, filling empty stomachs with mouthwatering nightly meals known as iftars — plates piled high with the black Muslim staple bean pie, South Asian samosas and maqluba in Arab traditions — the charitable zakat collections and the never-ending mosque fund-raising pitches.

It is the coming together, many Muslims say, that builds a heightened sense of spirituality, individually and communally.

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