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Published: Saturday, 7/14/2012

Local Muslims prepare for Ramadan's sacrifices

Daytime fasting, nighttime prayers required

BY MEL FLANAGAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The month of Ramadan, an Islamic holy month that entails fasting during the day and prayer at night, begins at sunset Thursday.

Imam Ahmed Abou Seif, spiritual leader at the Toledo Muslim Community Center, said Ramadan requires Muslims to fast every day from dawn until dusk and then pray the taraweeh, night prayers of Ramadan.

"Fasting during the day means Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, having sex, and also … from doing anything bad or anything wrong," Imam Abou Seif said.

His words were translated by Mohammed Elnahal, a member of the Muslim Community Center's Board of Trustees.

"Even if a person does something wrong [to a Muslim, the Muslim] is not supposed to do something wrong to them."

Every evening of the month, the community center invites its members to the facility to break their fasts on milk and dates, and then pray the taraweeh.

The members then may go home to eat their fast-breaking dinner or may participate in the community fast-breaking dinner at the Muslim community center, Imam Abou Seif said. After dinner, congregation members return to or remain at the center to pray the taraweeh.

Imam Abou Seif said between 150 and 200 people attend the services at the community center during Ramadan.

"There are more people that will come to the TMCC during Ramadan because people want to increase their good deeds [during] Ramadan," the imam said.

Ramadan lasts 30 days and ends Aug. 18.



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