“Ramadan is just one of the five pillars or requirements of the Islamic faith. The others include testimony of faith, praying five times a day, charity, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. It’s a time of spiritual enrichment, and that is done through sacrificing what God commanded…that Muslims must fast during this holy month of Ramadan.”
Tasneem Ahmad Al-Michael – Central Regional Organizer of the Oklahoma Policy Institute – imparted more fasting facts:
“It was instructed by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that Muslims fast from all forms of sustenance like food or water…sexual activities, and worldly pursuits…from sunrise to sunset.”
For those who are spiritually weak like me, there are other ways to participate in Ramadan.
In honor of the five pillars of Islam, here are five Ramadan events in the metro area taking place over the next month or so...
1.) UCO’s Muslim Student Association’s annual Ramadan Iftar Banquet.
April 5th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm in the Nigh Ballroom at 1209 E. Campbell St in Edmond. Keynote speaker is Masood A. Haqq. Mandatory RSVP before March 30th so make sure to RSVP.
2.) Oklahoma’s Young Professionals Iftar
April 13 from 6:30pm - 9:30pm for $25 at Hummus Café OKC. There will be a guest speaker, awesome raffle prizes and congregated prayer. Space is limited so RSVP quickly!
3.) CAIR’s annual Ramadan Day of Service at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
April 15 from 1:00pm - 4:00pm. This is a free volunteering event, but space is limited. RSVP to secure your volunteering shift.
4. Iftar dinners at The Oklahoma History Center
Raindrop Turkish House is hosting Iftar dinners at The Oklahoma History Center on April 13th at 7pm and an Oklahoma Governor’s International Team Iftar at the Raindrop Turkish House on April 18th at 7pm as well. Space is limited so email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
5.) Eid al-Fitr Celebration
Eid al-Fitr is a time to celebrate with family and friends to show gratitude toward God following Ramadan’s holy month of reflection. The NW District YMCA is partnering with CAIR Oklahoma for the Eid al-Fitr Celebration on April 22nd from 5:30pm – 8pm at Rockwell Plaza YMCA, 8300 Glade Ave in OKC. Please click here to get involved.
Ahmad Al-Michael made it clear that Muslims aren’t suffering while fasting, and there are exemptions for those unable to safely fast.
“It brings us closer to our families, builds a sensation of community, cleanses our bodies of toxicity and attachment, and uplifts the human condition by reminding us of those who have less.”
Soltani agrees, “The secret sauce to Ramadan is that contentment and tranquility you can’t get any other time.”
Sauce? I think the fasting hunger pains are setting in.
For more info. on how to support your Muslim neighbors during Ramadan visit CAIR's website. You can also donate to Oklahoma Muslim Women for Humanity’s fundraising campaign Meals by Muslims to feed those in need at the Homeless Alliance.