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Islamic Center of Bowling Green Imam Sedin Agic Discusses Ramadan Amid Pandemic



Muslims worldwide began celebrating the holy month of Ramadan this week.

However, because of social distancing guidelines, gatherings for prayer, the reading of the Quran and the breaking of fast at sundown every day are going to be severely limited.

The Islamic Center of Bowling Green has canceled its scheduled iftar meals, and has moved traditional rituals online. WKU Public Radio spoke with the mosque's leader, Imam Sedin Agic, to learn more.

Editors Note: The following transcription includes questions and answers that have been shortened for clarity and time.

Imam Agic
From our religion, it teaches us to be well organized and to pay attention, take precautions and whatever it comes from our leaders. So we just follow and trying to apply these rules. And, even though, you know, it is the greatest month for us and a lot of activities that we are doing through the month of Ramadan besides breaking the fast and gatherings where there is a lot of the prayer, there is a lot of the recitation of the Quran, there is a lot of the worship, some of the supplication. So all this, basically we are trying to keep it right now in our homes, in our houses with our families in order to prevent any kind of spreading disease and so on.

What's important for people to keep in mind as we try to get through these times?

Imam Agic
It is very important for us to stay home and to be safe as much as possible with our family members. But from the religious or spiritual side, still we are doing as we used to do. Just, in the much less number.

During this pandemic, we've heard a lot from different community leaders and religious leaders about a lot of the challenges, just having to be there for the community. People are losing loved ones, loved ones are falling ill, they're not really able to spend as much time around one another as they would like. What are some of the unique challenges you face during this pandemic?

Imam Agic
Pretty much, [it's a] busy schedule, except that this situation basically turned upside down everything. So we need to work a little bit harder to arrange everything to be ready, because Ramadan is tomorrow (Thursday). Basically, so all the schedule that we planned to have during the month of Ramadan right now, we need to do it online or as much as possible to do it online.

So, what will you specifically be doing tomorrow then?

Imam Agic
Tonight is our first congregation prayer, which is a beginning after sunset tonight. That is basically officially beginning of the month of Ramadan. So there will be a short advice message to the community to our members. And I will stay still advising, reciting Quran, and then staying to pray. Of course, [the] mosque will be empty but still the activities will go on.

For you personally, when all this is over and we can go back outside and we can once again gather, what's something you're looking forward to?

Imam Agic
I'm looking to see my community at one place. And I wish to shake everybody in hand and hug them and to celebrate with them that we are good, in good health and good shape. And that we are--I hope that will be after this month of Ramadan--all successful.

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