Ramadan at the Islamic Center of Southern California was indeed a unique experience. We were able to serve Iftar every night to an average of 400 people. We hosted hundreds for taraweeh prayers and spiritual nights. And we engaged young community members who recited impressive Quranic excerpts in for the community
The ICSC iftars were made possible thanks to the generous contribution of our gracious donors whose response was overwhelming. Exotic meals were provided by various restaurants and served by a group of volunteers, who went beyond the call of duty to host the community and make the breaking of fast a truly spiritual experience. Everyone was trying to gain the pleasure of Allah (swt) by maximizing their good deeds, providing Iftar, serving Iftar, or simply cleaning up afterward. Continue reading
As we walk out of Ramadan, we share significant feelings and thoughts, and hopefully will make important resolutions.
- We share the feeling of being light, less clinging to the Earth and aspiring for the highest realms of spirituality. This is the result of feeding the soul, not just attending to the body.
- We feel clean and pure as we rejoice in the promise of the prophet (pbuh) that whoever fasted with faith and dedication will have all his past errors and sins blotted out and forgiven. Continue reading
This past Ramadan had been a time of renewal for the Muslim Youth Group of the Islamic Center of Southern California- a renewal of faith and of friendship. Earlier in the summer, the MYG Board had decided not to hold many events during Ramadan, but to have at least two spiritual nights as well as a Toy Drive.
The first spiritual night was a success in numbers; it seems that our weekly activities during the summer were able to draw a good crowd for our Ramadan activities. We had at least 35 youth at our first spiritual night. After the usual taraweeh prayers downstairs, the youth would gather inside or outside to play basketball, board games, or just socialize. Around midnight we gathered everyone upstairs in the MYG room and began wrapping gifts for our Toy Drive. Continue reading
Sept. 11, 2001 brought two tragedies for Muslims: the loss of innocent lives that day and a near-irrevocable damage to the perception of our faith in this country. For years since, the anniversary of 9/11 has been a time that those around me have asked about Islam’s position on issues such as violence & terrorism. My assurances that these acts had nothing to do with Islam were often met by skeptical nods. So with this year’s timely Humanitarian Day of Service, Alhamdulillah, things were pleasantly different.
Humanitarian Day, held during the month of Ramadan, is organized by the ILM foundation. On Sept. 12, members of mosques and Muslim community centers across Southern California came to the Bilal Learning Center in South Central L.A., and on Sept. 13 to Skid Row, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the country, in an effort to make a difference. Continue reading
When Adam Burpee’s high school football teammates rush to nearby water coolers in the afternoon heat, he watches and waits.
On a normal day, in a normal month of his senior season, the 17-year-old would take the opportunity to hydrate, but with the Muslim holy month of fasting underway, he won’t have any food or drink until after sundown — at least two hours after the end of his practices.
It’s not easy, he said, especially with August and September temperatures that have often crept up to triple-digit levels. Continue reading
No Ramadan would be complete without confusion surrounding the end of the holy month. You might be planning an Eid get together or looking forward to meeting others for the morning takbeer when a friend tells you that he is not sure if he will be celebrating with you because the end date of Ramadan is not certain — or so he says.
While some argue that, cloudy skies or not, they must spot the crescent moon to confirm the end of Ramadan, other communities, like the ICSC, rely on astronomical calculations, which are 100% accurate, to plan then end of the month, said Jihad Turk, religious director at the center. Continue reading
Muslims in countries across the globe break out into mass celebrations during the Eid holidays, with feasts and festivals aplenty. In the United States, however, Muslim holidays are much different.
Although still special days, the celebrations can be smaller and far more subtle than large-scale events in other parts of the world, or Christmas and Hanukkah festivities in America.
That makes Eid a unique experience in the United States, particularly for immigrants and converts, so we asked some of our members to tell us how they make the celebrations relevant, especially after having previously been part of mass festivities. Continue reading
Ramadan is a month of spirituality and reflection. As we prepare ourselves for it, we need to remember the importance of preparing our bodies to adapt to the change that fasting brings to our system.
Since Ramadan will be in the summer, hydration becomes an important issue. Taking sufficient amounts of water is essential to avoid dehydration. Individuals with chronic disease such as heart and kidney diseases as well as diabetics must consult with their physicians before they start fasting.
Some Muslims have the misconception that since they fasted all day long, they can eat as much as they want after sunset. The bottom line is that if you do not burn the calories that you consume, you will gain weight. And the fact is, that most Muslims will consume more calories and move less during Ramadan.
When we look at Ramadan in essence, not just as a ritual, we will discover the great relevance of this essence to our lives, here and now.
The main essence of fasting is the ability to self restrain, to postpone gratification, to be liberated from the compelling demands of our need and greed, and to do that for a higher consideration.
This is unique to human species, distinguishing us above the animal kingdom. Continue reading