News / USA

    American Muslims Observe Ramadan

    FILE - The Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help (FAITH) has conducted a food drive in Herndon, Virginia, every week during Ramadan for the past nine years.
    FILE - The Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help (FAITH) has conducted a food drive in Herndon, Virginia, every week during Ramadan for the past nine years.
    Mohamed Elshinnawi

    As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins on June 28, Muslim Americans from different backgrounds across the United States are gathering in mosques and homes to break their dawn-to-dusk fast, perform congregational night prayers, and help the poor.

    "We try to make people feel like they are in any Muslim country and belong to a Muslim community,” said Imam Abdulla Khouj, president of the Islamic Center in Washington D.C. “We offer the meal to break their fast. We have more than 600 people, males and females, their children, and families. They break their fast and pray with us.”
     
    After the Iftar meal at sundown, Muslim families perform the special nightly prayer.
     
    "Ramadan nightly prayer is an expression of devotion and seeking forgiveness," said Said Aly, a Muslim-American physician. "Each night we finish reciting one chapter of the holy Koran, so by the end of the month, we will complete the 30 chapters of the holy book," Aly said.

    Abdulla Mahroum recites the holy Koran at Dar Al-Hijra Islamic Center in Virginia. He came to the U.S. during Ramadan of 2003 on a tour to recite the Koran in several mosques around the country. But the need for his rare talent granted him a permanent residency in the U.S.

    “Especially in Ramadan, Muslim Americans are attracted to Islamic centers which offer the best Koran reciters and I was well received and I began training young Muslim Americans to recite the best way they could,” he said.

    Regardless of their country of origin, American Muslims observe Ramadan with a set of traditional rituals. Families shop at Halal meat stores, prepare Iftar meals to break their fast with family and friends and pray together.

    However Shala Haroun, an American Muslim from Kashmir, misses the big family gathering in Ramadan.

    "Ramadan back home is a lot more fun, there is a lot more family, a bigger Indian community and you get your whole family together, while here you are with just a couple of your family," said Haroun.

    Muslim Americans have a long working day and are surrounded by non-fasting colleagues, but for Mohamed Ibrahim that is not the real challenge.

    “I have to fast because it is my religious duty, so it does not matter what everybody else is doing.”

     Imam Hassan Qazwini directs the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan where many Muslims have made their homes in recent decades.
    "Every night, after the nightly prayers, the Islamic Center will hold a special session to of recite the holy Koran; explain the interpretation of the Koran, as well as some other Islamic lectures."

    He said as many as 1,000 people go to daily evening prayers at the Islamic Center of America during Ramadan, and there is a focus on American-born Muslim Americans.

    "We will have a very specialized program catered for the English-speaking youth, because they will be the ambassadors of Islam to non-Muslims.” Qazwini said.

    The sessions are also streamed online to reach a wider audience.

    For Muslim American groups, Ramadan has served as an annual opportunity to educate the American public about the holidays of Muslims and the Islamic faith.

    Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said Ramadan is a chance to foster interfaith dialogue.

    “We send out information relating to Ramadan to non-Muslim constituency and friends as well as we organize programs in which we speak about Ramadan. We do this in conjunction with not only Islamic centers but even with groups and interfaith groups as well, so this has been a highly successful campaign."

    The educational events include holding open houses at local mosques and Islamic centers; public lectures on Ramadan, interfaith Iftar dinners and TV ads reminding all Americans that Muslims are an integral part of U.S. society.
     
    Since the early 1990s, American presidents have issued Ramadan greetings each year to the more 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide.
     
    Imam Khouj believes the presidential greetings have helped to raise awareness among Americans about Ramadan.
     
    "The president of a great country acknowledges the fact that Muslims are fasting and shares with them their feelings, and at the same time makes American Muslims feel that they are welcomed in this country," said Khouj.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Kaine Project Optimism in First Joint Campaign Event

    Kaine, a moderate, has potential to attract voters repelled by Donald Trump and those who may have a hard time fully embracing Clinton

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: mahmud from: nigeria
    July 05, 2014 5:11 AM
    Alhamdulillah for me seeing dis holy month of ramadan once again

    by: Anonymous
    June 30, 2014 5:02 AM
    Thank god I am in the US now and I don't have to fast by force.

    by: maral from: Florida
    June 29, 2014 4:41 PM
    How can we get the calendar of this year's Ramadan?

    by: musa from: south sudan
    June 28, 2014 1:51 PM
    if all muslims unit a teach non muslam about islam that not only in the month of ramadan it would be good.

    by: Faizan Fateh from: Islamabad
    June 28, 2014 1:47 AM
    Ma Sha Allah ! The Month of Fasting is Finally here and i am so blessed and pleased to have Ramadan once more time in my life as it is the month in which hells gates are closed, and Muslims can make maximum out of this holy month to seek the special blessings of Allah The Almighty :)
    Regards
    Ramadan Mubarak

    by: Umar from: Missoula MT
    June 27, 2014 8:03 PM
    MASHALLAH feels great read this article..if possible plz upload RAMDAN schedule thanks
    In Response

    by: Faizan Fateh from: Islamabad
    June 28, 2014 1:48 AM
    Brother, you can consult with this schedule if you are someone living in and around the area of NYC :)

    http://www.quranreading.com/blog/ramadan-suhoor-iftar-timings-america/
    In Response

    by: Mohammed from: Bangalore
    June 27, 2014 11:51 PM
    Why don't we celebrate the Ramadan all over the world on the same day, when there was a moon sight.
    DO WE FOLLOW THE SUNNAH OF MOHAMMED PEACE BE UPON HIM OR DO WE FOLLOW THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY??? If you simply exceeds the number days with your own wish will be haraam.

    NARRATOR AbuHurayrah
    SAHIH MUSLIM
    HADITH_No 2378
    Allah's Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: Whenever you sight the new moon (of the month of Ramadan) observe fast, and when you sight it (the new moon of Shawwal) break it, and if the sky is cloudy for you, then observe fast for thirty days.
    Therefore my question is why we need to depend on the science and technology, The Rabbul Aalameen is the king of all the universe/unvserses. He knows the best. Why dont we follow the sunnah of mohammed peace be upon him and follow there fore as Mekka and madina munawwara practice. When we say science has advanced and the people knows well the time, due to some differences in moon sight depends on the wether, but where ever the moon is sight then that proof is more than enough to practice all over the world. Mohammed peace be upon him said " There was 72 sects in Jews, and 73 sects Mohammed peace be upon him, in his Ummah, one who follows the Mohammed peace be upon him goes to the jannah(paradise), other 72 will goes to the hell. Don't depends on the Science and turn as per your wish will be biddah. Whether it is pakistan or Indian or west or east or south and north. But follow as united like once it starts in Makkah. May Allah guide us the right path. I hope and pray Allah(swt) to give more knowledge to us. Muslims have lost the unity due to circumstances of Jews and christian practices. In case of non-muslims we are so close these days like happy birtdays/birth annicersary, marriage day etc. Which is haraam, an illegal to follow this evil in today what muslims are doing.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora