Observing Ramadan

RamadanIn 2013, Ramadan is expected to begin on the evening of July 8th with the first full day of fasting on July 9th.

The ending of Ramadan is marked by the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which takes place either 29 or 30 days after the beginning of the month. On Eid ul-Fitr, morning prayers are followed by feasting and celebration among family and friends. This year Eid ul-Fitr will most probably fall on Wednesday, August 7.

What are the daily fasting requirements?

During the month of Ramadan most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise many Muslims have the Suhur or predawn meal. At sunset families and friends gather for Iftar which is the meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast. Many Muslims begin the meal by eating dates as the Prophet used to do.

This ritual fast known as Sawm is one of the five pillars of Islam, and requires that individuals abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse.

What is the ‘goal’ of Ramadan?

In general, the practices of Ramadan are meant to purify oneself from thoughts and deeds which are counter to Islam. By removing material desires, one is able to focus fully on devotion and service to God. Many Muslims go beyond the physical ritual of fasting and attempt to purge themselves of impure thoughts and motivations such as anger, cursing, and greed.

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Spotlight on Laura Massenat

LauraOne of our homestay moms, Laura Massenat, was recently quoted in the Oklahoman in an article about drinking water and it’s potential impact on health and our environment.

Laura is co-owner of Elemental Coffee and one of the co-founders of the H&8th monthly block party in Midtown.  She was recently elected to the Oklahoma City School Board.  Laura and her husband, Laurent, have four children and have been a homestay family with ELS for several years.  Needless to say, she is a very busy lady!

Way to go Laura!  You can read the article here.