Hawzah News Agency (Australia, Queensland)-The Islamic Society of Greater Springfield opened its doors Sunday night to the community to learn about the Muslim holy month of fasting, known as Ramadan.
Maryam Mostoufi, president of the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association, said the event was an opportunity for people to ask questions.
“We find that in most situations people tend to fear what they don’t know,” she said.
Sunday marked the 23rd day of Ramadan, which runs 29 or 30 days.
Each day during Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. They also are supposed to avoid impure thoughts and bad behavior. Muslims break their daily fasts by sharing meals with family and friends in the evening.
Ahmer Siddiqui, a board member for the Islamic Society, said one of the misconceptions people have about Ramadan is that it’s simply about starving yourself.
The main reason Muslims take part in the practice of fasting, he said, is to get closer to God.
“When you become more humble, it’s easier to remember God,” Siddiqui said.
In addition to educating the community about Ramadan, Mostoufi said, the event was a good way for Muslims to interact with people of other faiths.
There is a lot of misinformation, she added, that Muslims do not like people who don’t share their religious beliefs.
“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Mostoufi said. “The Quran enjoins on us numerous times to be hospitable of people of other faiths.”
Siddiqui said events like Sunday’s also help break negative perceptions about Muslims. In reality, he said, Christians have more in common with Muslims than they may realize.
“Historically, we have many of the same beliefs as Judaism in Christianity,” he said. “We believe in Noah, we believe in Adam, we believe in Moses, that Jesus was a prophet and the Virgin Mary. We have more in common with most other people than things uncommon.”