Opinion: My Ramadan Experience During Lockdown

The abrupt sound of my alarm clock wakes me up everyday at 4 am, just in time for suhoor, signaling the beginning of my day. I get up restlessly to pray and start eating quickly before I can close my fast. It was April 23, the beginning of Ramadan, and I was beyond anxious to find out what this month would hold for me and my family. 

During Ramadan, Muslim families observe fast for 15 hours everyday for a month, from sunrise to sunset. Through these desperate times, Covid-19 has forced me to adapt and observe this holy month at home. However, through my eyes I believe that observing my fast at home has been very beneficial to me. 


First and foremost I would like to mention that everything has felt easier due to all the time the lockdown has given me. I feel like I can finally breathe.  My mom is a nurse. Everyday she risks her life working from the front lines to help her patients, and she has to do all of this while fasting. While being at home, I have an abundant amount of time to clean the house, finish my schoolwork, and prepare dinner for me and my mom to break our fast together. 

Being in lockdown has given me the ability to use my time wisely and not fasting at school has made everything seem abundantly easier. It feels as if this weight has been lifted off my shoulders that would constantly be there when I used to fast in school. I don’t have to worry about the hot weather physically draining me, I don’t have to worry about final exams or SATs, or even running or working out during gym. These key factors made me feel absolutely restless while fasting. It finally feels like I can fast with an open and free heart without having to think about these things.

For the past three years of being in school, fasting was an everyday struggle. The sheer panic of breaking my fast would constantly overcome me as soon as I walked into the school building. I constantly felt as if teachers never understood how much pressure they apply on those who were fasting by giving us an excessive amount of work and tests almost every week. Coming to school without eating breakfast was tiring enough, but having to worry about tests and exams felt as if I had a weight on my shoulder that seemed to get heavier every day.  Being in a crowded lunchroom surrounded by people and food was also very exhausting and tempting at times. Often I would find myself at the library or the auditorium to get away from the lunchroom, and now being in my room has felt like a safe sanctuary for me. 

The only downfall of experiencing Ramadan at home is not being able to break bread with my extended family members or even with people from my mosque. Not standing shoulder to shoulder on a prayer mat with my fellow Muslims at the mosque makes me feel lonely. Ramadan is a key way to bring one closer to the people around them, to feel closer to Islam, but this aspect of celebrating Ramadan at home is such an odd feeling. I have to create my own mosque within the four walls of my home.

So many recurring questions kept coming into my mind,

“Would this be the first time I celebrate Eid without my family?”

“Would I not be able to read Eid prayer at my mosque, a tradition that has been around ever since I was born?”

“Would this be the first year that I would not be able to visit my cousin’s grave, which is what me and my family do every Eid?”

I think these questions will pass through my mind every day, and only time can answer them.  I do hope that everyone finds comfort within their home. I want people to feel satisfied with Ramadan, regardless of the underlying circumstances we must face.  I’m trying to look more at the positive aspects of this virus rather than the negative. I think what we all need to do is try to find the positive side of situations in order to get through something as sad as this virus.