Starting Friday, July 20,* the Muslim community in Minnesota and around the world will begin 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 iftars (a fast-breaking meal) on a daily basis, as well as 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").
At 7:30 pm, Friday, July 27, CAIR-MN will hold its annual Ramadan Dinner at the Mounds View Community Center, 5394 Edgewood Drive in Mounds View.
* Because the beginning and end of Islamic lunar months depend on the sighting of the new moon and different communities use varying methods to determine the moon-sighting, the start and end dates for Ramadan may vary.