Saturday, June 24, 2017

Canada: Community members gather at Edmonton Ahmadiyya mosque to learn about fasting during Ramadan


Imam Nasir Mahmood Butt, leader of the sect in Edmonton, presented to participants about the significance of fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, which began May 26.

File photo (Oct 17, 2016): Kerry Diotte, MP (L) seen with ‏Imam Nasir Mahmood Butt
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Edmonton Journal
By Clare Clancy | June 23, 2017

Community members gathered at an Edmonton mosque Friday to break fast with their Muslim neighbours during Ramadan, while learning about the tenets of Islam.

“It’s about general understanding and respect and tradition,” said Mario Peralta, noting it was his first time inside a mosque. “I decided to come out and see exactly how it is … I didn’t really know what to expect.

“Wonderful people, wonderful culture,” he said at the Al-Hadi Mosque in the city’s east end on 98 Avenue.

After an 18-hour dawn-to-dusk fast breaking at 10:07 p.m., dates and water bottles were handed out to those gathered inside prayer rooms, with an Iftar dinner served later. The event is part of a nationwide campaign dubbed “fast with a Muslim friend” by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community inviting non-Muslims to Iftar dinners across Canada.

Imam Nasir Mahmood Butt, leader of the sect in Edmonton, presented to participants about the significance of fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, which began May 26.

“There are spiritual and physical benefits,” he said in an interview before the event. “There is a very important message through fasting of steadfastness and patience.

“Through these programs … we should convey the message to everyone that we have many, many common … values, views.”

During his presentation, Butt responded to questions about Islam and denounced violent extremism. “We can stop extremism also through patience,” he said.

Muslims fast during Ramadan with certain exceptions, such as travel, illness, pregnancy and breast feeding.

“Generally some people think Muslims are very secretive,” said Mohyuddin Mirza, mosque outreach director. “We want to open up so people see there’s nothing secretive.”

He explained the mosque takes donations for the Edmonton Food Bank during Ramadan, annually raising about 15,000 pounds of food.

“We want the fear to be removed, ignorance to be removed. We are equally participating in this society … we are as important as everybody else.”

Muslims around the globe will celebrate Eid Al-Fitr on Sunday, marking the end of Ramadan.

“It sort of demystifies it … for people to see firsthand,” said Chris Choden, a non-Muslim at Al-Hadi Mosque. “I think for most religions and cultures you can’t understand just by reading something on the Internet, you have to see it in practice.”

cclancy@postmedia.com

twitter.com/clareclancy


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