COVID-19: Minnesota Mosques Return to Side-by-Side Prayer

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The Muslim community in Minneapolis have celebrated the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions as mosques return to side-by-side prayer.

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“When you come back, it’s like you’re born again,” Hussein Hassan, a member of the Masjid Al-Rawdah congregation, told Sahan Journal.

Over the past months, Masjid Al-Rawdah has experienced various levels of restrictions throughout the pandemic. At the beginning of Minnesota’s coronavirus outbreak in March 2020, the masjid closed entirely, only to re-open in July 2020. 

Since then, the masjid has implemented several public health measures to keep the congregation safer from COVID-19, including social distancing and face masks.

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These restrictions were finally lifted by Governor Tim Walz lifted at the end of May, allowing Muslims to return to side-by-side prayers.

“It was very different with the guidelines initially,” Hanad Mohamed, 23, said. “But it was definitely refreshing coming back. It’s almost like being away from home.”

The closings and restrictions affected the life congregants, with some feeling lonely.

“They have their social life through the masjid, and they meet their friends to chat with them,” Imam Abdirizak Farah said. “But when the pandemic was here, they were very alone.” 

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With the lifting of social-distancing requirements, members of the Masjid have enjoyed coming back to the space, said Imam Dulyadeyn Farah. And praying next to one another has helped rebuild community. 

“Now, we pray side by side, shoulder by shoulder,” Imam Dulyadeyn said.

“Even including me—we are feeling a real prayer, and brotherhood, when we are praying next to each other.”

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