(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/24/14) -- This weekend, the Muslim community in America and around the world will begin the month-long fast of Ramadan (rom-a-don).
[*NOTE: Because the beginning of Islamic lunar months depends on the actual sighting of the new moon, the start and end dates for Ramadan may vary. Consult local Muslim communities for the beginning and end dates of Ramadan.]
Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam.
The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers called "Eid ul-Fitr," or Feast of the Fast-Breaking at the end of July.
To assist local Muslim community leaders, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has produced a "Sharing Ramadan Resource Guide 2014" that offers step-by-step advice on hosting an interfaith iftar, or fast-breaking meal, with their fellow Americans of other faiths and backgrounds.
The theme of this year's "Sharing Ramadan" guide is "Understanding and Appreciating One Another."
The resource guide includes instructions on forming a "Sharing Ramadan" committee, a sample media advisory for an iftar, advice on reaching out to local media, an advertisement for the event, text for a "Welcome to Our Ramadan Fast-Breaking" brochure, frequently-asked questions about Ramadan, and a sample event program and newspaper advertisement.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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