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Ramadan s month of fasting begins Thursday for Muslims

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Abo-Elzahab

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins Thursday, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, marking a time for Muslims to abstain from earthly pleasures and seek spiritual growth.

It is a month of unity, a time of brotherhood and sisterhood, said Imam Farooq Abo-Elzahab, spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, where Ramadan services will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. for 29 days.

The imam said the public is invited to a community meal every Saturday during Ramadan at sundown at the mosque, 25877 Scheider Rd., Perrysburg Township.

Masjid Saad will hold Ramadan services at 9:15 nightly in its new mosque at 5225 West Alexis Rd., the former Cathedral of Praise building. A guest imam from Egypt will lead the prayers, according to Ziad Hummos, a Masjid Saad member.

The world s 1.2 billion Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sensual pleasures from dawn to dusk during Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar because it is the month in which the Qur an was given to the Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam.

Ramadan ends with the Eid ul-Fitr, or feast of fast-breaking, on Oct. 12.

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