Dates, prayer mark start of Ramadan for Edmonton (Canada) Muslims


Photograph by Bruce Edwards , Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON – Mohamed Jomha expects to sell hundreds of kilograms of sticky dates in the next days as Edmonton Muslims ready for Ramadan.

The month of daily fasting and prayer starts at mosques across Edmonton Tuesday evening and observant Muslims will start fasting from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday.

They’ll gather at each others’ homes late each evening to break the daily fast, usually with dates and fruit juice, before they pray and then eat a late-night meal.

Westgate Halal Meat and Deli near 95th Avenue and 163rd Street was packed with shoppers on the weekend; one man walked out with 25 kilograms of dates on Monday, said Jomha, the owner.

“What I sell for dates the whole year, I sell pretty much the same amount during this month. We’ve got tons and tons of dates. It’s a big item” said Jomha.

But Ramadan isn’t just about going without food and water during the day, said Jomha.

“Our prophet, he said it’s a loser who gets from his fasting only the food and the drinks and doesn’t become a better Muslim. That’s the purpose, for us to be better Muslims following this action.”

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