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 5.
During Ramadan, practicing Muslims spend the daylight hours fasting. This means they abstain from any food and drink from dawn to sunset. 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. Fasting during Ramadan is considered one of the five Pillars of Islam — five activities that shape Muslims’ lives. Ramadan is also known as the month of forgiveness, charity and generosity.
In Minneapolis 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, the East African community specialist in the City’s Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, reached out to several mosques and leaders to prepare for the month of Ramadan. Ahmed is also closely working with the Police and Public Works departments on traffic safety during 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. 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 May 31, 2016