Families celebrating Ramadan Holiday adjust to the coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 4:51 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 18:20:38-04

(WXYZ) — Friday marks the start of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslim American families celebrating in southeast Michigan. A Dearborn business owner tells 7 Action News just like in the case of Easter and Passover, people are looking forward to celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. However, due the coronavirus pandemic they have to be creative to enjoy the holiday safely.

Inside the kitchen of Byblos banquet hall in Dearborn, owner Joe Bazzi is preparing for an annual tradition. He's making “Iftar” dinners for families who break the fast each night during the Ramadan holiday.

Bazzi and his staff have been doing this for more than 15 years and this year, smaller gatherings and social distancing are the priority.

“We have two families that called in orders from the same household, but different places," he said. "They’re both ordering food, but doing the dinner as a phone conference. It’s not going to ruin the holy month of Ramadan, it’s a month of blessing.”

Whether it’s donating meals for first responders or cooking to go for curbside pick up, Bazzi says food safety always comes first.

“Each worker in the kitchen has their own section," Bazzi said. "Prep and do what they have to do.”

In Dearborn Heights, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom is also making sure the crisis doesn’t stop prayer services.

“Anybody in the world can turn on and watch our services” says Elahi, who holds multiple online prayer services daily during Ramadan.

His mosque also provides food donations to countless families.

“This is a new experiment. We never had such a thing in history," Elahi said. "We have to adjust ourselves with new changes."

He adds, “Make it a month of peace. Love. Charity & solidarity.”

Business owners in Dearborn and religious leaders tell us they’re looking forward to the time, they can safely come together once again.

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