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Hundreds of Muslims Gather in Times Square for Iftar, Prayers

Marking their first iftar this Ramadan, hundreds of Muslims gathered on Saturday in Times Square to break their fast and pray together.

“For Muslims, it’s not just about fasting so that we understand how those who are food insecure feel. We actually are doing this so that we can become closer and more contentious of our creator, our lord, Allah,” said SQ, one of the organizers of the gathering, CBC news reported.

📚 Read Also: Tips for Success in Ramadan… Do the Worships You Love

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At sunset, 1500 meals were distributed to mark the end of the first day of fasting.

SQ said he wanted this prayer at the heart of the city to explain Islam to the community as a religion of peace.

 “We’re here to explain our religion to all those that don’t know what Islam is all about,” he said. “Islam is a religion of peace.”

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A similar message was shared by many attendants, who saw the gathering as an opportunity to clear misconceptions about their faith.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions about Islam,” one man said. “There’s crazy people throughout all cultures, all religions, and those small groups of people do not represent the majority … We’re encouraged to pray, fast, do good deeds, give charity.”

“The Quran is a divine revelation. It’s the final revelation that was given to the prophet Muhammad, who was a messenger in a series of messengers, just like Jesus, just like Moses,” SQ said.

“We are all united and connected together. People need to stop trying to disunite the Christians and the Muslims and the Jews and everyone. That needs to stop.”

“You work with these people. You take the train with these people. We are all really one,” event co-organizer Ali Camara said.

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Hijri Islamic calendar. It commemorates the first revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad.

From dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations).