Members of the San Fernando Jama Masjid prepare food packages for curbside pickup.

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For devotees unable to observe the holy month of Ramadan in the usual way because of COVID-19 pandemic, a San Fernando masjid arranged Iftar curbside pickups.

For four days last week, the care packages were distributed from the San Fernando Jama Masjid on Mucurapo Street.

President of the masjid, Abdul Waheed Majid explained: “For the last week of fasting, we had this feeling in our hearts that we are missing the masjid. The masjid is missing the muqtadees or the people who come here, and therefore we decided we have to reach out to them.”

He said the four-day curbside pick up was sponsored by a member of the mosque.

“Normally for fasting month someone will have Iftar and dinner. So you come to the masjid, you break your fast, you go and pray and then you have dinner afterwards, then you come back to the mosque for Taraweeh.

“None of these things was possible this year, but we can still reach out to those people who are not able to come to the masjid and still feel the comradery by delivering foodstuff for them. In this case, it is a care package.”

As he contemplated how Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated in the “new normal”, Majid’s eyes filled with tears and his voice quivered.

“This is a very, very emotional thing. It is difficult for us because that’s a day we normally will meet and greet our relatives and friends in the mosque and we can’t,” he said.

However, they have been reaching out to one each other through social media networks, including Facebook and Skype, and live streaming from the mosque.

Majid said: “People are feeling some kind of closeness to the masjid so we will continue with that.”

Instructions have been sent out to members about what is expected of them on Eid.

“Get up very early, pray their morning prayer, have a bath, put on their best clothing, their best perfume, whatever and go and pray in their homes. Two cycles of prayer, two cycles of prayer, and at 8 o’clock they will join us live on Facebook with the Imam giving a sermon from the masjid,” he said.

Majid and three others will be in the mosque while Maulana Atif Majeed will deliver the sermon.