This IKEA in Germany Opened Its Parking Lots to Muslims for Ramadan Prayer

Hadley Keller
Photo credit: Matthew Horwood - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

We all love IKEA for its affordable furniture, creative ad campaigns, genius hacks, and delicious meatballs (not to mention a dedication towards sustainability and design for good), but now we've found yet another reason to admire the Swedish furniture retailer: One IKEA location in Germany put its massive parking lot—currently empty since the store is closed during the coronavirus—to good use, opening it as a prayer space for hundreds of observants of Islam to pray together during Ramadan while obeying social distancing laws.

This Saturday marked Eid al-Fitr, the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and a time when Muslims would usually gather for prayer together. Of course, that's a lot harder to do with religious institutions closed and social-distancing laws in effect. Just where could hundreds of people find the space to pray while spaced six feet apart? Well, the parking lot of an IKEA, it turns out.

At an IKEA store near Frankfurt, over 800 Muslims spread out for prayer this weekend, reports the BBC. It all began when local Muslims, aware of the size of the parking lot, asked the store if they could "borrow" the space—and IKEA said yes. The result was a joyful group prayer—and a photogenic moment that quickly went viral on Twitter.

"The closing prayer with all Muslims in Wetzlar was like a reward for us," a mosque chairman told the BBC. That's the kind of creative reuse we love to see.

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