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The holiest month in the Islamic Calendar, Ramadan-ul-Mubarak is a time of fasting, prayers, and helping the needy. Like the rest of the Muslim world, Kashmir too awaits this month with hope and joy. The month of benevolence, generosity, and forgiveness sees a huge rush in Masajid as Muslims attend regular prayers in greater numbers. They prepare for mass Iftar gatherings and beseech the Lord in unison.

Markets are usually brimming with people buying food items for preparing Iftar and sehri dishes. Late in the evening, the mosques reverberate with Taraweeh prayers as the faithful bow in front of Allah listening to the Holy Qur’an. But this year, it is an entirely different Ramadhan. The COVID-19 pandemic that has force closed the entire world has equally impacted Kashmir as well. As social distancing has become mandatory to contain the virus, mass gatherings in Masajid are suspended. The markets are shut. There are no iftar gatherings, no Taraweeh prayers in the mosques. People are offering all their prayers at home. Everyone is sailing in the same boat. Everyone prays for the safety of humankind