CAIR Urges U.S. Muslims to Share Ramadan with Neighbors

EsinIslam Ramadan Explorer

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization (CAIR) today urged Muslim communities nationwide to reach out to their neighbors of all beliefs by inviting them to take part in an interfaith "Iftar" or fast-breaking meal, during the upcoming month-long fast of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. It is estimated to begin July 20 this year.

To assist local Muslim community leaders, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has produced a "Sharing Ramadan Resource Guide 2012" that offers step-by-step advice on hosting an interfaith Iftar.

A CAIR video promoting the campaign notes that the resource guide includes instructions on forming a "Sharing Ramadan" committee, a sample media advisory for an Iftar, advice on reaching out to local media, an advertisement for the event, text for a "Welcome to Our Ramadan Fast-Breaking" brochure, frequently-asked questions about Ramadan, and a sample event program and newspaper advertisement.

The video also notes that education and outreach help decrease anti-Muslim prejudice in American society.

"In order to enhance interfaith relations, it is imperative that American Muslims reach out to their neighbors of all beliefs to offer balanced and accurate information about Islam and the Muslim community," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.

He cited a 2009 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which stated that those who know a Muslim or are familiar with Islam and Muslims are "most likely to express favorable views of Muslims and to see similarities between Islam and their own religion."

Awad also noted that Islam's Prophet Muhammad said Ramadan "is the month of sharing with others." (Al-Tirmidhi)

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Gambia: Commercialising Islam Is Forbidden - Says President Jammeh, As He Gives Out Ramadan Gift


The president of the Republic has denounced the commercialisation of Islam, saying it is forbidden and will not be accepted in The Gambia.

His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Yahya Jammeh was speaking Monday afternoon at State House grounds in Banjul, while distributing over 27,000 bags of sugar as Ramadan gift to Muslims all over the country.

The Gambian leader condemned what he called the commercialisation of death and the Quran recitation, something he emphasised strongly, will not be accepted.

He urged the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council to regulate it before it develops roots in society. "These two practices must stop. These are very bad practices that are spreading it tentacles in our society. What kind of Muslims are we? Now I am challenging the Supreme Islamic Council to regulate these practices. As religious leaders, you have a huge task and I want to see that all these are regulated," he said.

While emphasising strongly on the importance of the Holy Quran, the Gambian leader stressed that knowing and reading the Quran and without respect for Allah that knowledge is useless.

He continued: "You will realise nowadays people turn up in their large numbers attending rich people's funerals than the average people, and prefer attending Quran recitations where they anticipate to earn money and you don't mind you will not be able to accommodate everybody.

If you have faith in Allah, you should know that the way you are being affected is the same way that someone is also poor and there is a Surah in the Holy Quran which says that, one should not sell anything in the Quran.

Now if people commercialise the Holy Quran recitation and funerals that means they are doing business with the Quran. And if I talk they say I am attacking people, but these are things that are happening."

President Jammeh also stated that he will not tolerate any behavior or attitude that will portray this country negatively. "We should be contented with what we have and have faith in Allah and avoid taking what we don't have yet. If you don't have, maintain your faith in Allah because you don't know what would happen in the future," he advised.

EsinIslam Ramadan Team

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