News / USA

    Muslim Americans Observe Holy Month of Ramadan

    Muslim devotees take part in a special morning prayer to start their Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of Muslim's holy fasting month of Ramadan, outside the Baitul Ma'Mur Mosque in Brooklyn, New York, 20 Sep 2009
    Muslim devotees take part in a special morning prayer to start their Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of Muslim's holy fasting month of Ramadan, outside the Baitul Ma'Mur Mosque in Brooklyn, New York, 20 Sep 2009

    Ramadan in America, like elsewhere in the world,  is a month of fasting, prayer, charitable giving and reflection.  Muslim Americans of diverse backgrounds and national origins gather in Islamic centers across the U.S. to worship and celebrate their faith.  For many, Ramadan also is an opportunity to educate non-Muslim friends about their culture and traditions.

    "Fasting is an important matter especially in this month," said an Imam speaking to Muslims in the Washington area.  As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins, American Muslims gather in Islamic centers to worship, break the dawn-to-dusk fast together, recite their holy book - the Koran - and help the poor.

    Imam Abdulla Khouj is President of the Islamic Center in Washington, the oldest one in the U.S. capital.  He said, "We try to make people feel like they are in any Muslim country and Muslim community.  We offer the meal to break their fast.  We have more than 500 people, males and females, their children, families and, also as far as prayers, we have a lot of people.  They come and pray with us."

    Imam Bassim Sayed leads a congregation in San Diego, but was visiting Washington, D.C. He has a similar plan.

    "We will be reciting the Koran every evening," said Imam Sayed.  "We will be feeding the poor at Iftar [fast breaking] and getting together to celebrate this great month in which the Koran was revealed for the benefit of mankind."

    For Muslim Americans, Ramadan means improving self-discipline and helping others. Abbas Mohamed is a diplomat from Chad.  

    "Ramadan is the greatest month of the year, a month of forgiveness, prayers and sharing everything with your neighbors," said Mohamed.

    But as a minority living in a non-Muslim society, some Muslim Americans find Ramadan challenging.  "Mostly it is at work or school. For students it is harder because not everyone around you is fasting or understands what Ramadan is," said Mohamed.

    However young Muslim Americans, like Belal Sayed, are finding ways to meet the challenges.  "I face many challenges, but I focus on the Koran and the challenges become easier for me to fast every day," said Sayed.

    Imam Khouj believes the Ramadan greetings offered by American presidents have helped raise awareness about Ramadan among Americans.

    "The president of a great country acknowledges the fact that people are fasting and somehow shares with them their feelings, and at the same time makes them feel that they are welcomed in this country," said Imam Khouj.  In addition, he says Ramadan is an opportunity to educate non-Muslims during interfaith Iftars.  He says the diversity among U.S. Muslims gives Ramadan in America a special flavor.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora