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Edmonton Muslims Welcome the Month of Ramadan

August 27, 2008

“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may learn self-restraint.” (Quran 2:183).
 
The world’s 1.5 billion Muslims will start a month long fast to mark the Month of Ramadan, which will begin in Canada on September 1st, 2008.
 
The Arabic word for fasting is “Sawm”, which means to restrain from, or abstain from something. In case of  Ramadan, Sawm is the total abstinence from food, drink, and other worldly pleasures from dawn to dusk. It is an act of self restraint and moves one’s attention from the material world to the spiritual realm. It is a unique time for reflection, sharing, and forgiveness. Thus the purpose of “Sawm” or fasting is to bring about the inner purification of the soul, so that the individual is in a position to receive the Baraqah (Blessings) of this Holy Month.

The fast also enables followers to appreciate the hunger of the less fortunate in society. One of the core teachings of Islam is kindness and compassion for the less fortunate, the needy, the sick and the  elderly. During the month of Ramadan particularly, Muslims across the world increase their participation in various charities which help feed the hungry and provide shelter to the homeless.
 
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar - the month during which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a guide to humanity.

“The month of Ramadan is a time for celebrating the bounties of the Lord.  It is also a time devoted to reflection, prayers and purification of the soul, sharing and forgiveness” says Larry Shaben, Chairman of the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities (ECMC).

At the end of the Holy month, Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with prayers and thanksgiving to God for an opportunity to have experienced Ramadan. In keeping with the ethic of sharing Edmonton Muslims will host their 7th annual dinner at the Boyle Street Co-op. on October 26th

The Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities is an umbrella organization representing nine different Muslim entities within Edmonton.  Created in 2002, its mission is to speak and act on behalf of Edmonton Muslims with fellow Canadians in a manner that protects, promotes, and enhances the understanding of Islam and Muslims in matters of public policy, education, peace and safety. 

Media inquiries and request for interviews may be directed to the following representatives:
Masood Peracha Acting Chair, ECMC at 780 421 3886, (Cell: 780 903 1653)
Shayda Nanji, Communications Portfolio at 780 464 0166


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