The most challenging thing about this moment is that our homes aren’t used to holding space for so many facets of our lives. Suddenly, my room has become the center of everything—where I recharge, dance, work, sleep, cry, laugh, and pray. My windows have become the main source of my daily vitamin D intake. My floors carry the weight of my exercise, laziness, clarity, and lack of focus. Today, we are asking so much of our homes. And while I am lucky to live with someone I feel comfortable around, I understand there are challenging situations where this is not the case.
As someone who is religious and spiritual 365 days a year, my routines and rituals haven’t changed too drastically from what they were prior to Ramadan. But, in the Muslim community, we often talk about how Ramadan can be a time to introduce new habits to our lives. For me, prayer and spending time with the Quran is something I can always improve on. After all, just because I am engaging in daily prayer doesn’t mean that I’m always 100 percent grounded in the present. This moment in time has put this ritual to the test.
I pray five times a day, and my prayer breaks offer a bit of respite from the workday and the chaos of the world. I’ve realized this is what prayer was intended for in the Islamic tradition: It is a practice that helps us remember that no matter how important we think the tasks that fill up our days may be—pouring over our to-do lists, anxiously checking our bank account balances, or dealing with an overflowing email inbox—anything can wait for a few minutes in the name of re-centering.
As I observe the growing uncertainty around the world, my relationship to prayer and the realizations I’ve had about prayer, offer me much needed solace. This Ramadan is one for the books; it is a time I know I will look back on in the future when things feel overwhelming and uncertain, as they inevitably will. In those moments, I’ll think back to the time I sheltered in place in my small Brooklyn apartment as the world spun in turmoil, and found refuge in moments of prayer that made the world stand still.