The Islamic Center of Charlotte is inviting non-Muslims to an open house Saturday night that will include a meal and a chance to get to know local Muslims.
It’s Ramadan – the holiest month on the Islamic calendar – and Muslims traditionally gather after sundown each night, often at mosques, to break the fast with a communal meal. During Ramadan, a time of repentance, Muslims who are able fast from dawn to dusk each day. The fast even includes a ban on drinking water during daylight hours.
Saturday’s annual open house, at 1700 Progress Lane (off Central Avenue) will begin at 8:15 p.m. with a breaking-of-the-fast meal that traditionally begins by eating dates. Local Muslims will be on hand to explain Ramadan, Islam and the tradition of fasting.
“This is always a great opportunity to come and share in partaking some good food and to get beyond stereotypes and misinformation and get to know who the Muslims are and what they believe,” said center spokesman Jibril Hough.
Ramadan this year began early last month and will end next week with Eid al-Fitr, the joyful “Feast of Breaking Fast.” Muslims follow a lunar calendar for their holy days.
Muslims also believe that Ramadan was the time in the year 610 when Allah (Arabic for God) sent the angel Gabriel to the prophet Mohammad near Mecca and gave him the teachings of the Quran, Islam’s holy book.
An estimated 15,000 Muslims live in the Charlotte area.
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