Muslim Marylanders Attend Religious Ceremony in Potomac
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Tasnim) – More than 2,000 Muslims from the US state of Maryland and suburbs of the District of Columbia attended a religious ceremony on Tuesday night at the Islamic Education Center in Potomac, Maryland, to mark Laylat al-Qadr, one of the most significant hallmarks of Ramadan.
Participants said prayers in congregation before breaking their fast on the 22nd day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
They later held a late-night vigil to mark the last of three special nights in the holy month of Ramadan, known as Laylat al-Qadr, also known as the Night of Destiny of the Night of Value.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, marks the most special of all occasions. It is a celebration of the descent of the Word of God, the Quran, from Heaven to the earth.
Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. Abstaining from food and drink, and from other bodily pleasures, is a crucial element of the observation. To partake in the blessings of Ramadan, able-bodied women and men, also girls and boys who have reached the age of religious observance, are required to fast for the duration of this month.
At the end of each fasting day, Muslims break their fast with an Iftar meal.
Ramadan is more than abstinence from food and drink during the hours of daylight. It is a time for contemplation, devotion and remembrance of God, especially through the reading or recitation of the Quran.
Tending to the welfare of the less fortunate members of the community, giving to the poor -especially at the end of the month- is also important.
Intensive self-reflection and increased God-consciousness during the month of Ramadan is meant to subdue and suppress familiar misdeeds, such as backbiting, holding grudges and telling lies.