Ramadan begins as Thai Islamic leaders call for refraining from gatherings, feasts, mass prayers and more

Thailand-

The Islamic religious period of Ramadan has begun and Thailand, like around the world, will be asked to be participating in the event significantly differently then what they are used to in prior years.

Fasting, which is a major principle of Ramadan, of course will continue.

However, the evening feasts, or Iftar, that often brings together mass gatherings of friends, relatives and local community members are being asked to be called off by top Islamic leaders this year to avoid potentially spreading the Covid-19 Coronavirus. They are asked instead to break their fast at home.

Mass prayers in mosques, another feature of Ramadan, are also being asked to be refrained from, although mosques are not ordered closed in Thailand. Some mosques will allow prayers with limited numbers of people and required physical distancing. Top Thai Islamic leaders are asking for people to participate in the daily prayers at home, also to avoid potential spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus.

The end of Ramadan, which is marked by Eid-al Fitr and will be in mid May, will have further advice issued as the date approaches. The date is normally marked by joyous feasts and large community gatherings.

The Muslim population of Thailand is believed to be about 4.9 percent of the total population. Contrary to belief, the Muslim community is spread out about the country, although the densest concentrations are in the deep South such as Yala.

Some Provinces in the Deep South remain under strict travel restrictions and rules to help encourage physical distancing, as high numbers of cases, primarily related to previous religious activities, have been found there.

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