Aim to remove misconceptions about Islam, build bridges with other Canadians
Canada’s Ahmadi Muslims are conducting a first-time campaign during this year’s month of Ramadan.
They are inviting non-Muslims to “Fast with a Muslim Friend”.
In Saskatoon, the Baitur-Rahmat Mosque on Boychuk Drive is hosting an open house Sunday evening, when non-Muslims can visit and learn more about the fasting tradition.
They are also inviting non-Muslims to sign up online to participate in the month-long fast, which involves abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours.
Zahid Abid, missionary at the Baitur-Rahmat Mosque, said members want non-Muslims to understand the meaning behind the practice.
‘It strengthens our faith.’– Zahid Abid, Ahmadi missionary
“It could be that … there’s a party going on maybe at the office, there’s a lunch going on and you see that one guy is not eating,” Abid explained. “Why is he not eating, does he not get along with Christians? Is it something to do with race or religion? It could simply be the fact that he’s fasting.”
It’s one of the five basic pillars of the Muslim faith.
“It strengthens our faith. You would see that a lot more people who were not coming to the mosque, who were lazy in their approach to religion, it sharpens their faith as well,” Abid said.
Increased religious participation also helps to keep people busy, and take their minds off food, he added.
Connecting with other Canadians
Shamoon Rashid, president of the Ahmadis Saskatoon North region, said the prime purpose of the campaign is to connect with Canadian society.
The Ahmadiyya movement is a branch of the Muslim faith.
On Sunday between 6 and 9:30 p.m. CST, neighbours and the general public are invited to drop by the mosque.
They will be able to observe a lecture or teaching on the the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, followed by prayer.
At around 9:30 the congregation will break or “open” their fast and everyone will eat and drink together.