Chicago Muslim Americans observe 1st night of Ramadan, prepare for 30 days of fasting

Maher Kawash Image
Monday, March 11, 2024
Chicago Muslim Americans observe 1st night of Ramadan
Chicago Muslim Americans observed the first night of Ramadan Sunday at the Downtown Islamic center and prepared for 30 days of fasting.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Muslim Americans in Chicago began their observation of Ramadan Sunday night with the first night of prayer at the Downtown Islamic center on State Street.

For the next 30 days, Muslims will fast from dawn to dusk and find ways to give back to those in need. This which means even more to the community this year as the Israel-Hamas war continues.

A month of selflessness and reliance on faith is now underway for Muslims across the world.

"God gave this blessed month to return to God.. to become closer to God," Downtown Islamic Executive Director Salman Azam said.

Muslims will now challenge themselves for the next 30 days to be a better person physically, mentally and spiritually.

"It helps us reset like a hard drive you just reformat your hard drive and take out all the bugs... and that's what's special about Ramadan and Islam is you get the chance to do that," Chicago resident Yousuf Sayeed said.

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Many will spend their free time in the next month trying to read the Quran and get closer to their faith, while also finding ways to give back to others.

"A lot of Muslims give a lot of charity in Ramadan because the blessings of their charities heightened 10 times," Azam said.

The holy month of Ramadan returns at a time when many Muslim Americans carry heavy hearts over the war in the Middle East, and its impact in Gaza.

"Especially what's happening in Rafah right now... to be grateful for every meal you get ... every bite you get," a Chicago resident named Karan said. "It's the fact that Allah has blessed us with the means to even eat."

Karan is set to fast and participate in Ramadan for the first time in his life.

"I'm really excited for introspecting... learning and connecting with the Quran... understanding the religion on a deeper level," Karan said.

The fasting will begin Monday just before 6am, and the entire month will be capped off with the Eid holiday in 30 days.