For Muslims in the United States, there is no other time more centered around gathering in congregation than the holy month of Ramadan. In every corner of the country, believers attend community iftar meals to break the fast and then pack neatly into tight rows for nightly prayers at the mosque. On weekends, especially, some may linger longer as they catch up, share in the pre-dawn suhoor meal and line up again for the fajr, dawn, prayers.
But this year, Ramadan falls during a global pandemic. In the U.S., with the world's highest COVID-19 death toll, that means being forced to mark the month in different, more virtual and sometimes solitary ways.