News / USA

American Muslims Gather to Break Fast

American Muslims in the Washington DC area gather for Iftar.
American Muslims in the Washington DC area gather for Iftar.

Multimedia

Mohamed Elshinnawi

The holy month of Ramadan is marked by fasting from dawn to dusk. Muslim Americans end each day of fasting with a festive meal known as Iftar. After a long day, they relax and share the rituals of Ramadan from sundown to the predawn hours.

As the sun sets, several Muslim families gather in this home overlooking the Potomac River. They will break the daily fast together.

Each family has brought a dish to share.

Aida Mady is an interior decorator and a member of the American Muslim Women Association. She is hosting the Iftar.  "We pray, we thank God every night and it reminds me of Thanksgiving, and I am grateful to God because he is giving us thirty thanksgivings not only one," she said.

Aida's husband, Ibrahim, is a physician. He graduated from Al Azhar University in Cairo, the oldest Islamic University in the world. "We break our fast drinking water and eating dates as the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to do," he said, "and then we go and pray our first night prayer and then come back and eat our Iftar."

These five Muslim families attend the Iftar after a long day at work where they are surrounded by non-Muslims. Yusra Shawer, a policy analyst, copes with the challenge of being around people who are not fasting.  "I am always reminding myself that it is the time when I remember God, be close to him, have devotion for the religion, so it is not too bad," he said.

Ramadan is an opportunity for Muslim Americans to unify and discuss issues related to the community. Dr Said Ali is a gynecologist in neighboring Maryland. "Despite the controversy over an Islamic cultural center (near Ground Zero) in New York, we are sure that the principles of our founding fathers would eventually prevail. There is no doubt that we Muslim Americans thank God every day for the freedoms our country secured for us," he said.

After the meal, the families perform the nightly prayer. "Ramadan nightly prayer is an expression of devotion and seeking forgiveness. Each night we finish reciting one chapter of the holy Koran. By the end of the holy month of Ramadan we have completed 30 chapters," he said.

Ali Gamay is a businessman. He's raising funds for a new Islamic Center in Northern Virginia.

Young Muslims at the Iftar are planning community service for the weekend. "We basically will get together at a friend's house and bag as many lunches as we can possibly make for homeless people," said one young woman.

During Ramadan, the young people here - like their parents - help the poor, whether Muslim or not.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid