(RNS) — As someone new to Islam, Ritchie Jaimes has found quarantine restrictions particularly challenging.
Jaimes, who was raised Catholic, converted to Islam just five months ago and has experienced his first Ramadan amid a pandemic that has shut down mosques and churches and mandated stay-at-home orders that bar in-person gatherings.
He breaks fast on his own during weekends at home when he’s not working the late shift Monday through Friday. It has also been more than a month since he last saw his mentor, who was helping him learn about hadiths, reported sayings from the Prophet Mohammed that guide Muslims in living their faith.
“It’s been hard,” said Jaimes, 39, an engineer who shares a home in Carpentersville, Illinois, with his adult son and