Religions and Spirituality

Franklin Township: Masjid-E-Ali Celebrates Ramadan

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SOMERSET, NJ - This year Masjid-e-Ali Mosque had over 1,000 people come out to celebrate the end of Ramadan, Monday morning. 

"Ramadan gave us another opportunity to reach out to our neighbors to welcome them to our center and reaffirm our commitment to build bridges and strengthen bonds among all faith traditions," Vice President Dr. Alex Kharazi said. 

Masjid-e-Ali needed a little help from their neighbors to accommodate the record-breaking audience for the celebration.

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"Our special thanks to our neighbors, Praise Presbyterian Church and Somerset Baptist Church, for allowing us to park overflow parking in their parking lot," Kharazi said. 

Facts on Ramadan can be found below:

Question: What is Ramadan?

Answer: Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Given the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar system, Ramadan begins on a different date each year. One reason why Ramadan is special is because the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad in this month.

Question: Who celebrates Ramadan?

Answer: Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan.

Question: What do Muslims do during Ramadan?

Answer: During this month, Muslims fast. This means they do not eat or drink anything from dawn to dusk. Young children, pregnant women, and those not healthy enough to fast are not required to observe the fast. In addition, Muslims are encouraged to read the Qur'an, self-reflect, spend time with family and be more charitable.

Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?

There are many reasons Muslims fast during Ramadan, some of these include:

1. To gain God’s pleasure

2. To strengthen one’s faith

3. To develop self-control

4. To remind oneself that there are many people in the world less fortunate than themselves.

Question: What do Muslims do at the end of Ramadan?

Answer: Muslims celebrate Eid al Fitr, which means "The celebration of breaking the fast" or "Eid" for short. On Eid, Muslims give a special charity to the poor, go to the mosque for prayers, exchange gifts and spend time with family and friends.

Question: How can my family learn more about Ramadan?

Answer: There are many wonderful resources available to learn about Ramadan. Below are just a few suggestions, all of which are available at www.taqwamedia.com

- Ilyas & Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid al-Fitr, by Omar Khawaja

- It’s Ramadan, Curious George, by Hena Khan

- Noor Kids First time Fasting, by Elizabeth Lymer

- Owl & Cat Ramadan Is..., by Emma Apple

- Ramadhan and Eid-ul-Fitr, by Azra Jessa

- Ramadhan Reflections, compiled by Sh. Saleem Bhimji

- Rafiq and Friend’s The The Ramadan Date Palm, by Fatemeh Mashouf

- Zaky's Ramadan (DVD)

Masjid-e-Ali will be hosting Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) next. According to members of Masjid-e-Ali, "it honors the willingness of prophet Ibraham to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God's command. Before he sacrificed his son God intervened by sending his angel Gabriel, who then put a sheep in his son's place. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: the family retains one-third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy."

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