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Sakura (cherry blossom) blooms beautifully at the peak of this season, spring.
On 21 March, Japan’s government lifted the state of emergency which regulates our daily activities by requesting us to stay home, restaurants to close at 8 pm, and so on. Islamic activities in the masjid were also limited accordingly. Since then, each local masjid announced major policies regarding the coming of the holy month Ramadhan.
In this article, As of 6th April, we are going to share how Islamic activities related to Ramadhan will be as of 6 April.
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1. Taraweeh in the local masjids
In Ramadhan, Allah SWT provides us great opportunities to increase our level of faith or Iman. When it comes to the usual Ramadhan, we gather at the masjid after Isya and pray Taraweeh together.
In 2020, Taraweeh was not held (or was held with a limited number of people) in masjids in Japan, to prevent massive gathering which was regarded as prohibition based on the guideline determined by the government.
This year, Taraweeh will take place in many masjids such as Asakusa Masjid, Chiba Islamic Cultural Center, Tokyo Camii, Nagoya Masjid, and more. The Taraweeh will be held 8 rakaat in major masjids (it was basically 20 rakaat before) to avoid long staying time.
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2. Iftar at the masjid
Iftar is what we are excited to have when we break the fast after more than 15 hours of fasting.
Muslims in Japan basically join the Iftar gathering organized by the local masjids. However, just like last year, Iftar gathering at the masjid this year will be also limited or not take place to prevent the spread of the virus. In some masjids, you will be required to register yourself before coming to have the iftar to control the number of participants and to maintain the social distance inside the masjid. However, some masjids may advise you to have iftar at home to minimalize the risk of infection.
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I’tikaf is an Islamic practice consisting of a period of staying in a mosque for a certain number of days, devoting oneself to ibadah during these days, and staying away from worldly affairs.
As explained in 1 and 2, we have to follow each masjid’s rules or guidelines when we join activities during Ramadhan. Some masjids posted on social media that they will host I’tikaf for those who wish to and register their attendance beforehand.
4. Eid Prayer
Most masjids in Japan has not announced clearly about Eid prayer and guideline related to Eid prayer in 2021. However, it is estimated that Eid prayer will take place in the masjid under some conditions to make sure that the safety measurements are applied, such as social distance, using sanitizer before entering the masjid, body temperature checking, using personal sajadah or plastic sheet, and so on as long as the number of infection in Japan does not drastically increase in April and early May.
5. Other activities
Other activities also might be held in the masjids with a small number of people. However, as followed by 2020, most of our Islamic activities will be online.
It became normal to interact with friends and families through digital communication tools than in previous years. Of course, Ramadhan is a highly blessed month for our spiritual and physical motivation. However, we still need to take care of people around us like family, friends, beloved brothers, and sisters.
Even though you join events in the masjid, please do not forget to obey the rules and precautions.
After the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, many masjids in Japan have been facing crucial difficulties to maintain their operation as the number of visitors to the masjid rapidly decreased which then followed by a huge decrease in the donation. We recommend to all of us to contribute ourselves to sustain our Ummah in anyways.