May 23 marks the end of the monthlong holy observance of Ramadan.
The Ramadan fast, in which food and water are abstained from during daylight hours, is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and remind them of those less fortunate.
While fasting, Muslims are encouraged to spend time in contemplation and prayer and to read their Quran.
The fast is broken at sunset, and food is eaten before sunrise.
Last month, as Muslims grappled with how to distance themselves during a time normally marked by community and fellowship, we spoke with Imam Sulaimaan Hamed, resident imam of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam.
As Ramadan comes to an end, we figured it was a good time to check back in.
WABE’s Jim Burress spoke to Hamed over the telephone.
Burress asked Hamed how the monthlong virtual and social distancing worked for the members of the mosque.
“What we found was that most people came to a healthy place in their heart in realizing that COVID-19 is real, and we had to take precaution,” Hamed said. “People were happy and expressed their appreciation that we did use caution and were closed.
“Mosques from around the country came together every night via technology, and each leader would do a class, and we each would tune in to each other’s broadcast.”
Burress asked if some of the lessons and practices learned during the coronavirus pandemic will be used for future Ramadans.
“Absolutely,” Hamed said. “We are still working out the technicality… we are still closed, and we are still working out the technicalities with the religious laws and city laws.”
With the final breaking of the fast, typically there is a big festival and feast and everyone comes together. Hamed said there will be a drive-up community meal drive-thru at their restaurant Spring Greens, and “a virtual high-five and hug and keep it moving.”
WABE’s Maria White Tillman contributed to this report.