Starting Friday, Asma Rehman will be refocusing a large part of her life on
God and her religious values.

Friday marks the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. Rehman, a
Kansas City, Mo., senior, said it was an important time for practitioners
of the faith.

Lasting for the entire month, Muslims fast during the daylight hours and in
the evening eat small meals and visit with friends and family.

“It is a time of worship and contemplation – a time to strengthen family
and community ties,” she said.

The Islamic Center of Lawrence, 1917 Naismith Drive, held an open house
yesterday to answer questions from the community about Ramadan and many
other facets of Islam.

The month-long fast is required of all Muslims said Moussa Elbayoumy, the
director of the Islamic Center of Lawrence. He said that the fasting
experience was part of one of the five pillars of Islam. The fasting is
called for by God, he said, and helps Muslims understand the plight of
those less fortunate than them.

“They experience voluntarily what others cannot enjoy,” he said.

He said after the month, Muslims are called upon to make a donation of food
directly to a needy family. The donation can be food or its monetary
equivalent. He said that each person in the family was responsible for

Elbayoumy said the donation should be equal to what the Islamic family
normally eats in a day..


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