Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Ramadan: A sacred time to nourish the soul

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/16/07/4lUzh.Em.138.jpeg|210
    David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Worshippers complete their evening prayers inside the mosque at the Muslim American Society of Charlotte Community Center on Sunday, July 6, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/16/07/1k0RFZ.Em.138.jpeg|209
    David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Huthaifa Shqeirat at the Muslim American Society of Charlotte Community Center on Sunday, July 6, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/16/07/u1UrT.Em.138.jpeg|198
    David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Huthaifa Shqeirat (right, standing) greets Imam John Ederer shortly after sundown as fellow Muslims come together to break the daily fast at the Muslim American Society of Charlotte Community Center on Sunday, July 6, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/10/16/07/1pCjXo.Em.138.jpeg|180
    David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Worshippers complete their evening prayers inside the mosque at the Muslim American Society of Charlotte Community Center on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

The Charlotte area is now home to at least a dozen mosques – that’s “masjids” in Arabic.

These places of prayer and fellowship are particularly popular destinations during Ramadan – the holiest month on the Islamic calendar. This sacred time of repentance and daytime fasting began at the end of June and will continue until nearly the end of July.

Probably the most diverse mosque in town is the Muslim American Society of Charlotte on Shamrock Drive. And last week (as shown in the photos), Muslims who have emigrated here from Africa, south Asia, the Middle East and many other areas converged on MAS near sundown. Together, they prayed to God – that’s “Allah” in Arabic – and broke the daily fast with a community dinner called “iftar.”

The “imam,” or prayer leader, at MAS is John Ederer, 35, a convert from Oklahoma who was raised in a Catholic family, baptized a Southern Baptist, then became a Muslim at 18. He studied in Egypt for a year and Kuwait for four years.

The goal of Muslims during Ramadan, Ederer explained, is to strive for “God-consciousness” through, for example, the discipline of fasting.

“If food and water are nourishment for the human body, then abstaining from food and water is nourishment for the human soul,” he said. “Once you gain some control of these basic necessities to live … then the secondary desires of the world – lust, greed, envy, hatred and violence – you should be able to control better.”

Funk: 704-358-5703
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More

CharlotteObserver.com