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.

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Comment Sorting
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 :)
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 :)
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
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.

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