News / USA

Muslim-Americans Observe Ramadan with Fasts and Prayer

American Muslims Prepare for Month of Fastingi
X
July 08, 2013
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan starts Tuesday in the United States. As in every country where Muslims fast during this month, Muslims in America have been spending time preparing for Ramadan. VOA’s Kokab Farshori reports.

Watch a related report by Kokab Farshori

TEXT SIZE - +
Mohamed Elshinnawi
— The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins Tuesday and Muslim-Americans of diverse backgrounds and national origins will be gathering in Islamic centers across the United States to worship and celebrate their faith. 
 
Muslims around the world observe Ramadan with a set of traditional rituals. Families shop at Halal meat stores, prepare Iftar meals to break their dawn-to-dusk fasts with family and friends, pray together and help the poor.
 
For Muslim-American groups, Ramadan has served as an occasion to educate the American public about the religious observance and the Islamic faith in general. The educational events include holding open houses at local mosques and Islamic centers, public lectures on Ramadan, interfaith Iftars dinners and TV ads reminding all Americans that Muslims are an integral part of U.S. society.
 
"We try to make people feel like they are in any Muslim country and 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, Muslim families perform the nightly prayer. Ali Gamay, a Muslim American businessman, explains:
 
"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 the, 30 chapters of the holy book," Gamay said.
 
Presidential Ramadan greetings
 
Since the early 1990s, U.S. 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 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 Khouj.
 
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations says, "The Council on American Islamic Relations sends out information relating to Ramadan to our non-Muslim constituency and friends as well as we organize programs in which we speak about Ramadan.”
 
Special programs for Muslim-Americans also are held in Dearborn, Michigan, where many Muslims have made their homes in recent decades. Imam Hassan Qazwini leads the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.
 
"For the English-speaking part of our congregation, we will have a special program because we believe they will be the ambassadors of Islam to non-Muslims, therefore there will be a very specialized program designed for the youth to expand their knowledge about Islam." Qazwini said. “During Ramadan, the young people here - like their parents - help the poor, whether Muslim or not.”
 
Qazwini said as many as 1,000 people attend evening prayers at Dearborn’s Islamic Center of America each day during Ramadan.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid