Zafar Siddiqui

Zafar Siddiqui is a co-founder of the Islamic Resource Group (IRG), an educational outreach organization dedicated to building bridges between Muslims and people of other faiths. He currently serves as the director of interfaith and civic relations at IRG. Read more about Zafar Siddiqui.

Your Date with Minnesota Muslims

Posted by: Zafar Siddiqui Updated: July 14, 2013 - 11:57 PM
On Monday, the Minnesota Muslim community will be completing the first week of fasting during the month of Ramadan. Many non-Muslims are curious about why, how, and when Muslims fast. Here are some details about the month of Ramadan and the nature of fasting, which is common to many religions and traditions.
  • The fourth pillar in Islam is Sawm, or fasting, in the month of Ramadan.
  • Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar.  Because it is a lunar calendar, it rotates around the seasons, moving back eleven days each year.
  • In the month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food and drink from dawn until sunset for a period of 29 or 30 days.
  • Muslims begin their fast before dawn, when families wake up for a pre-dawn meal and morning prayer.
  • Muslims break fast at sunset and many break it with fresh dates or water followed by the evening prayer and dinner.
  • Fasting is part of many religions. For Muslims, fasting is meant to be a means of learning self-control, God-consciousness, and sympathy for those less fortunate.
  • By controlling one’s physical desires and avoiding negative behavior such as lying, gossiping, backbiting, and fighting, fasting trains a person in self-control.
  • Ramadan is also a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation, during which Muslims spend extra time reading the Qur'an (the holy book of Islam) performing special prayers, and doing good deeds.
  • Muslims are to be especially charitable and generous in Ramadan, sharing food and money with those in need, and inviting others to share in the breaking of the fast.
  •  It is common to go to the local mosque after dinner for special night prayers, during which the recitation of the entire Qur'an is completed by the end of the month.
  • In the United States, many mosques serve dinner every night and these dinners are open to the community at large.
  • Since fasting requires good health, those who are physically unable to fast such as the elderly, sick, pregnant or nursing women, travelers, and children are exempt from fasting.
  • Those adults who are able to fast but miss their fast are advised to either make up their missed fasts on later days, or feed a poor person for days equal to all the missed fasts.
  • Fasting is a very special time of the year, which Muslims look forward to and enjoy as a chance to renew their faith, give up bad habits, cleanse themselves physically and spiritually, and do extra worship and good deeds.
People of other faiths are invited to observe and take part in Ramadan by visiting their local mosque for a fast-breaking meal.
 
 
Fifteen mosques from around the Twin Cities and surrounding areas have opened up their doors to their neighbors with an open invitation to join them for Iftar (fast-breaking dinner). The following are the mosques that are taking part in this project that is coordinated by the Minnesota Council of Churches and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.
 
Please register at the following link to attend any of these free iftars.
 
Wed. July 10 8:00PM:
Islamic Center of Minnesota, Masjid Abu Khadra, 4056 7th St. NE, Columbia Heights
 
Sun. July 14 8:30 PM:
Anjuman-E-Asghari, Ja'afari Islamic Center, 10301 Jefferson Hwy., Brooklyn Park
 
Mon. July 15 8:00
Dar Al Hijrah,504 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis
 
Thu. July 18 8:00 PM:
Muslim American Society of Minnesota, Blaine Community Center, 12175 Aberdeen St., Blaine
 
Fri. July 19 7:30 PM:
Masjid Al-Ihsan, 955 Minnehaha Ave. W, St. Pau
l
 
Sat. July 20 8:00 PM:
Imam Hussain Center, 6120 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center
 
Sat. July 20 8:00 PM:
Islamic Center of Twin Ports, 145 West Winona St., Duluth
 
Mon. July 22 8:00 PM:
Masjid Al-Iman, Islamic Community Center of MN, 1429 2nd St. NE, Minneapolis
 
Tues. July 23 8:00 PM:
Abu Huraira Islamic Center, St. Anthony Village Community Center,3301 Silver Lake Rd., St. Anthony
 
Tues. July 23 8:00 PM:
Al Farooq Youth & Family Center (AFYFC) 8201 Park Ave. S, Minneapolis
 
Wed. July 24 8:00 PM:
Burnsville Masjid,1351 Riverwood Dr., Burnsville
 
Thu. July 25 8:00 PM:
Muslim American Society of MN, Inver Grove Center, 4100 E 66th St., Inver Grove Heights
 
Wed. July 31 7:30 PM,
Masjid An Nur, 1729 N Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis
 
Thu. August 1 8:00 PM:
Masjid Al-Rahman, 8910 Old Cedar Ave., Bloomington
 
Sun. August 4 7:30 PM:
Northwest Islamic Community Center, 3300 Plymouth Blvd., Plymouth
 

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