Ramadan Suhoor Festival Builds Bridges in Detroit

A food festival might sound like an odd event to attend during Ramadan, the month of fasting.

However, this year’s 2nd Annual Ramadan Suhoor Festival in Detroit has proven to be an interfaith bridge that brings the members of the local community together regardless of faith, WXYZ ABC Detroit reported.

“Respect one another, to celebrate one another, celebrate the differences. Our festival takes place every Friday and Saturday during Ramadan at Hype Athletics in Dearborn Heights,” informed Hassan Chami, organizer of the event.

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Suhoor is the meal Muslims have in the middle of the night as their last meal before they start the next day of fasting. Because Muslims  observe fasting during Ramadan from sunrise to sunset, the event is from 11:45 pm to 4 am.

“The first weekend was definitely a success. Almost 10,000 festival-goers showed up this past weekend. An amazing community that supports everyone,” Chami expressed.

The festival attracts both Muslims and non-Muslims from the metropolitan area of Detroit and outside.

“The event serves as a platform where we can build bridges in our communities. We’ve had a lot of non-Muslims show up. It’s amazing, a lot of Muslims that are non-Arabs,” Chami said happily.

Admission is free where there are 22 food vendors with a variety of cuisines from Middle Eastern to barbecue to Canadian desserts. Even though Chami just kicked off the second year, he’s already planning for future festivals.

“We have a place for everybody to come with their families and friends to enjoy Ramadan,” Chami said. The dates are May 17 & 18, May 24 & 25, May 31, and June 1. You can find more information on the Instagram page, @RamadanFoodFestival.

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Hijri calendar of Islam. During the 29-to-30-day month, healthy adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Fasting the entire days of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is considered to be obligatory for healthy adult Muslims only. Believers dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint, and good deeds.

Muslims are asked to use this month to get rid of sins. According to Islamic Shari’ah, when they fast Ramadan, all the sins committed between one Ramadan and the next are expiated if they avoid the major sins.

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that 80% of the 2.15 million American Muslim adults fast through Ramadan — and the percentage of teens who fast, while not reported, is likely similar.

In Detroit also, a Muslim mother started making Ramadan moon trees to celebrate the holy month with due festivities.