Source: New Haven Register
By Sohail Husain
Have you ever passed by a Muslim woman with a headscarf and wanted to ask her what motivates her to live out her faith?
Have you ever thought to strike up a conversation with a Muslim colleague over his views on Muslim extremists in the news?
But were you too afraid to ask? Or maybe the moment wasn’t right.
Well, now that we are in the midst of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, this might be the best time to talk to a Muslim in your neighborhood.
Here are four compelling reasons why:
Reason 1. Ramadan is a nice chance to sit down together for an evening dinner. During the 30 days of Ramadan, which started this year in the last week of June, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. The caveat is that you can’t fast if you are sick, travelling, pregnant, nursing, or too senior or too junior.
In the evening after sunset, many Muslims will break the fast in congregation at their local mosque. Depending on the ethnic background of the group, this could mean sharing some pretty good food. So take advantage of the fact that it’s always easier to make a connection while breaking bread, or eating dates, which happens to be a traditional favorite for a Ramadan dinner.
Reason 2. Ramadan is supposed to be a time to help others. In this month, the founder of Islam the Prophet Muhammad would intensify his spending on the poor, the orphan, the homeless, or anyone that came to him. Relatives had a special right. So did neighbors. The Prophet said, “He is not a believer, who eats his fill while his neighbor starves.” The very act of fasting helps you understand up close what it’s like to go hungry, at least for the day.