“We do it to show connection and reverence and sacrifice to God,” said Eugene Fields, communications manager for the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“The fast is performed to increase spirituality, discipline, self-restraint, and generosity while obeying God’s commandments.”
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Hijri Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
During Ramadan fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations.
“That’s one of the reasons it’s so holy — Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran,” Fields said.
During the holy month, representatives with CAIR-LA plan to visit every Mosque in Southern California — roughly 90 in all.
“It’s a great time for Muslims to reconnect with their spirituality and their community. It’s a great time to remember how special the community is for each other and connect with Allah,” Fields added.
American Muslims have been asking for more security for their mosques and Islamic centers after the attacks on mosques in New Zealand on a Friday prayer, churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, and a synagogue in California last week.
During the holy month, Muslims are instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting except in self-defense.
Pre-fast meals before dawn are referred to as Suhoor, while the post-fast breaking feasts after sunset are called Iftar.