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

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

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.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs