1 / 10
A picture taken on April 24, 2020, shows sanitation workers disinfection the area arround the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. / AFP / STR
2 / 10
A cat sits between two olive trees overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem, at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, on April 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. The Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and and Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, are closed to worshippers by Israeli authorities under the threat of the COVID-19 / AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND
3 / 10
A picture taken on April 24, 2020, shows Saudi policemen standing guard next to the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. / AFP / STR
4 / 10
A picture taken on April 24, 2020, shows Saudi policemen standing guard next to the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. / AFP / STR
5 / 10
The Temple Mount coumpound stands empty of worshippers at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, early on April 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. The Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and and Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, are closed to worshippers by Israeli authorities under the threat of the COVID-19 / AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND
6 / 10
A picture taken on April 24, 2020, shows Saudi men performing prayers next to the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. / AFP / STR
7 / 10
Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam stands empty of worshippers, at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, on April 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. The Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and and Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, are closed to worshippers by Israeli authorities under the threat of the COVID-19 / AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND
8 / 10
The Temple Mount coumpound stands empty of worshippers at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, early on April 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. The Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and and Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, are closed to worshippers by Israeli authorities under the threat of the COVID-19 / AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND
9 / 10
A picture taken on April 24, 2020, shows Saudi men performing prayers next to the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. / AFP / STR
10 / 10
A picture taken on April 24, 2020, shows Saudi policemen standing guard next to the Kaaba in Mecca's Grand Mosque, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. / AFP / STR
Updated 28 April 2020

3-Islam's holiest sites emptied by coronavirus crisis as Ramadan begins

The holy month of Ramadan began on Friday with Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem largely empty of worshippers as the coronavirus crisis forced authorities to impose unprecedented restrictions.
During Ramadan, Muslims the world over join their families to break the fast at sunset and go to mosques to pray. But the pandemic has changed priorities, with curbs on large gatherings for prayers and public iftars, or meals to break the fast.

⁣(Photo courtesy: AFP)⁣