The Muslim community in Mylapore is observing a different kind of Ramzan this year. With all mosques closed in the neighbourhood, people are saying Ramzan special prayers at their homes.
Unlike every year, some families are doing charity by offering provisions to the daily wage workers and street dwellers.
Says Ilyas Riyaji, Chief Imam at Mandaveli mosque on St.Mary’s Road, “It’s a different experience to pray at home with our family members. Usually, all families in the neighbourhood come to the mosque for special prayers. The prayers used to generate a feeling of oneness and brotherhood among us. We miss that this year.”
What is more worrisome is that we are not able to help the poor families of our community. Every Ramzan, the mosque used to prepare nombu kanji for the entire community, especially the poor. This year, though we wish to help the poor families with the kanji, we are unable to do so because of lockdown restrictions,” he says.
Also, as part of their charitable activities, he says they used to provide cash to the underprivileged families across the city. “But, now, as we are unable to step out much, we are providing provisions (rice, dal, oil) to daily wage workers and street dwellers outside our houses,” he says.
Chief Imam Ilyas is a resident of St.Mary’s Road, Mandaveli.
Syed Masood Jamali, the Chief Imam of Jumma Masjid on Kutchery Road also echoes similar views. He says, “We miss the grand nombu kanji preparation and special prayers at our mosque. To prevent the virus spread, we are adhering to the government rules and observing Ramzan at our homes,” he says.