NEW YORK (RNS) — Umair Saad loved Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and prayer. The Long Island resident would wait for it all year long, excited to sit down with his family to iftar, the meal that breaks the day’s fast at sundown, and to join the crowd at the local mosque to pray the nightly prayers called tarawih, followed by breakfast before sunrise.
But last year, when Ramadan fell during the worst of the pandemic, mosques were closed, crowds were forbidden and restaurants were shuttered. Saad spent it mostly at home. He led the daily prayers while his son led tarawih. He waited for the next year to provide some normalcy, his niece Sara Mohamad told Religion News Service.
In December, Saad