City officials and community members prepare for the month of Ramadan

Ramadan is a Muslim holy month that occurs on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and lasts for 29 or 30 days. This year Ramadan begins June 17.

During Ramadan, practicing Muslims spend the daylight hours fasting. This means they abstain from any food and drink from dawn to sunset. Fasting hours are longer during the summer and shorter during the winter depending on the amount of daylight. One of the key purposes of fasting is to experience how a hungry person feels and to understand what it is like to have an empty stomach. It teaches one to share the sufferings of the less fortunate.

Throughout the month, Muslims are encouraged to go out of their way to help the needy, both financially and emotionally. Ramadan is also known as the month of forgiveness, charity and generosity.

During Ramadan, mosques and Islamic centers see an increase in traffic and parking needs during late evening and early morning hours. Muslim community leaders are proactively working with City officials to create awareness and understanding about these needs and to ensure everyone’s safety during Ramadan. Abdirashid Ahmed, East African community specialist in the Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, organized a meeting with community members and City representatives, including staff from the Police and Public Works departments, to prepare for the month of Ramadan.

Neighbors close to mosques and Islamic centers can expect to see heavy traffic during Ramadan beginning at sundown until about 1 a.m. The heavy traffic will significantly increase during the last 10 days of Ramadan, from 9 p.m. to as late as 5 a.m. There will also be a significant change to the East African community’s activities and day-to-day operations during daylight. Some food businesses or coffee shops may close or operate fewer hours. 

For more information, contact Abdirashid Ahmed, at Abdirashid.Ahmed@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3958. 

Published Jun 16, 2015

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