Ramadan: Fast From Food, Feast On Charity
DEARBORN, Mich. - The month of Ramadan is the holiest time of year for Muslims, and while many know Ramadan is a time of intense fasting and prayer, they may not be aware it is also a time for charity and giving.
Adnan Durrani is the CEO of Saffron Road, a company which produces Halal foods. He says one of the core obligations of Ramadan is to do good works and share with those less fortunate.
"During Ramadan you're letting go of a lot of these needs we get tied to all year long," says Durrani, "so hopefully it opens up a path towards giving, and a path where you feel motivated."
Durrani says many Muslim groups and organizations devote the month to service projects, and Muslims are expected to step up their charitable donations during the holy month as well. During Ramadan, Saffron Road is donating five percent of every product purchased at Whole Foods Market to the Whole Kids Foundation, helping to fund salad bars for children in impoverished areas of the nation.
Durrani notes that even in Michigan, which has a large Muslim population, there are still many misconceptions about the Islamic faith, including what it means for food to be "Halal."
"It really should be either organic or antibiotic-free," says Durrani. "It should really pay tribute to animal welfare, and should pay tribute to the pluralistic traditions in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, which are around 'How mindful were you in taking this from the earth and putting it back and restoring it?'"
Ramadan began on June 28th and will end on July 28th. During the holy month, Muslims are expected to abstain from food and drink between dawn and sunset each day.