(PHILADELPHIA, PA – 7/20/2012) – This week, Muslims in the Delaware Valley and around the world began the month-long fast of Ramadan (rom-a-don), the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from dawn to sunset.
The fast is performed to exercise discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God’s commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the “five pillars” of Islam.
Local mosques will host interfaith iftars (fast-breaking meal) and other social activities. Mosques will also have special prayers, called taraweeh, after the daily nighttime prayer. In the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadan, Muslims mark Lailat ul-Qadr (“Night of Power” or “Night of Destiny”).
The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” (2:183)
“Ramadan is a blessed time for Muslims to not only strengthen our faith through fasting, but it provides an opportunity to help others in the larger community by feeding the needing and distributing prescribed charity,” said Rugiatu Conteh, Outreach and Communications Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Philadelphia Chapter (CAIR-Philadelphia).
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For assistance in reporting on Ramadan or connecting with a local mosque throughout the month, CONTACT CAIR-Philadelphia Outreach and Communications Director Rugiatu Conteh at 215-592-0509, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.