Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting, is now underway.
This year Ramadan started on April 12 and will last until May 11.
According to Islamic tradition, God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad the Quran, Islam's holy book, during Ramadan. Ramadan is a period of prayer and introspection, as God forgives the past sins of those who observe the holy month with prayer and fasting.
The Quran indicates that eating and drinking are permissible only until "the white thread of light becomes distinguishable from the dark thread of night at dawn," or from dusk to dawn.
The Islamic Center of Lafayette is preparing those who are practicing fasting during Ramadan by handing out pre-packaged meals each night. The drive-thru meals are distributed from 6:45 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. at the center, located at 700 Tulane Ave.
Several community restaurants volunteer to make the meals that will be distributed during Ramadan.
"The purpose of the fasting is to reflect upon the blessing of food itself," said Imam Hassan Yagoub. "And to thank God that we have food while remembering there are people around the world without food and are suffering."
Before COVID-19, people would visit the center to receive food, but because of the pandemic the center decided to distribute the meals a little differently this year.
Imam Yagoub explained that fasting is something that has been done by all people of the scriptures, including Jews, Christians, and Muslims, that was advised by God and benefits on a physical and spiritual level. He encouraged everyone to try fasting for any period of time to reflect on the favors of God.
Anyone is welcome to visit the Islamic Center and pick up a meal, and to visit any time of the year.
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