Powerful videos have gone viral that shows hundreds of Muslims praying during Ramadan while social distancing in a giant Ikea parking lot.
The large group was participating in a Ramadan prayer Sunday, in which the crowd prayed and listened to an imam’s sermon in the parking lot near Frankfurt, Germany, celebrating the end to the holy month.
Kadir Terzi, the chairman of a Wetzlar mosque, said that he asked Ikea about planning a socially distanced prayer last week, according to The Hill. He said he had little confidence the store would approve, but he said the “store manager didn’t hesitate for a second and said ‘yes, you can pray.’”
The mosque asked its congregants to bring prayer mats and wear face masks to the parking lot prayer. The images of the crowd praying with Ikea’s storefront in the background were praised across the internet as the mosque found a safe way to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Terzi said the prayer was particularly important because many worshippers felt isolated during Ramadan due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
Normally, Ramadan is a busy time for families and communities. People usually gather nightly during the month to break their fasts and organize charity work.
“It was a completely different Ramadan month, without contacts, without visits and without breaking the fast together,” he explained, adding that the chance to pray together was very valuable.