REGINA CITY – As the clock ticks towards Muslims’ fasting month of Ramadan, the Muslim community in Regina, Saskatchewan, invited their neighbors on Saturday, May 13, to an event to educate them about the holy month.
“People are nervous about asking questions,” explained Sabreena Haque, a Muslim woman and member of the Regina chapter of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan, which organized the event, CBC News reported.
“It’s good to just come forward and just explain to people. Once you start talking, then people start asking questions.”
The pre-Ramadan luncheon at the RCMP Heritage Centre, held on Saturday, was attended by more than 100 community leaders from the city, including church dignitaries and politicians.
“It’s a great opportunity to let others know who we are, why do we do this every year and what effect it has, and the generosity that we do,” said Faisal Khan, president of the association’s Regina chapter.
“We call this home now, just as you do and it’s a great place to be.”
Khan explained the meaning behind fasting for a whole month.
“It gets us, first of all, understanding of what poor people go through and it helps us become more compassionate with them and it just generally results in a lot of generosity,” explained Khan.
Haque describes it as a type of spiritual training, where charity is emphasized.
At the end of the month, a special `Eid Al-Fitr celebration will take place at the old Mosaic Stadium, said Khan.
“This is going to be one grand event for the Muslim community,” he said.
According to astronomical calculations, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) announced that Ramadan fasting will start in Europe on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through prayer, self-restraint and good deeds.
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.
Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.