It’s that time of year again! Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, will begin either tomorrow or this Thursday, depending on if we spot the moon tonight. It is a time where Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset, and in the US that is approximately 16 hours of no food and water every day for a month. Why do we do it? So we can feel what the less fortunate feel every day and so we can be better people.
Before we get into more details about the holy month, here are a few iftar (meal to break the fast) events happening around the borough.
Thursday, May 17 @ 7:30 pm
Kings Bay Y at 3495 Nostrand Avenue (between Ave. U and V)
Thursday, May 24 @ 7 pm
Dyker Beach Golf Course Catering Hall
Friday, May 25 @ 7 pm
Location available once you RSVP.
Join Laura, Haseeb, and the Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee for an Iftar at Laura’s Crown Heights home. Lauran and Haseeb will be cooking a kosher meal for us, and together we will break the fast with new friends and conversation.
Wednesday, May 30 @ 6:15 pm
MAS Youth Center, 1922 Bath Ave.
Wednesday, May 30 @ 6 pm
Beit Ul Maqdis Islamic Center, 6206 6th Ave
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, and though staying away from food and water is the main element, Muslims also have to abstain from drinking, sexual activity, and cursing.
Suhoor is the name of the meal that is eaten before the sun rises. During the day, we work, sleep, continue with prayers, read the Quran, prepare for iftar and basically just try to be better people; because every good deed that Muslims do is said to have a greater reward during the month of Ramadan.
Every night after praying the fifth prayer (Isha), it is sunnah (an act of the prophet Muhammad), to pray Taraweeh. Taraweeh is an extra set of prayer specifically for Ramadan. This is done at mosques and can last two/three hours every night. So don’t be alarmed when you see a swarm of people walking out at around 11:30 pm.
And at the end of the long, spiritual journey, Muslims celebrate with Eid al-Fitr. The celebration lasts for three days, and yes, we get to eat whenever we want. Though Eid is dependent on moon sightings, this year Eid al-Fitr may begin on Friday, June 15.
The night before eid, like the day before any other holiday is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. The night, Chand Raat (which translates to moon night, or the night of the moon), is celebrated in Brooklyn with a huge bazaar on Coney Island Ave. Music is played while young girls run in line to get henna designed on their hands. The opportunity to shop and eat is also available throughout the fun night.
Be sure to wish your Muslim neighbors Ramadan Mubarak!