The Islamic Center of Nashville's efforts to inform the community about Ramadan
Members of the Islamic Center of Nashville invited the Nashville community to join them in celebrating their holy month of Ramadan.
“We do this through letting them observe some of our practices such as Ramadan, our prayer, our faith and addressing come misconceptions while proving a safe space for people to ask questions,” said Rashed Fakhruddin, president of the Nashville Islamic Center.
He has been leading this event since 2014 to “build bridges of understanding for what the Muslim community is.”
Monday’s Ramadan Iftar Dinner & Islam 101 presentation– hosted annually by The Islamic Center of Nashville– allowed people in the area to meet Muslims in their community, learn about Islam and break bread during Iftar – the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan.
Ramadan, an Islamic holiday observed by Muslims across the world, goes from March 22 through April 20.
From sunrise to sunset, Muslims abstain from any water, food or intimate marital relations as a form of spiritual discipline for 29 to 30 days.
This year, four events are held between two different Minaret, or prayer towers, located in Nashville, giving everyone multiple chances to experience this event throughout the month.
During the presentation, Fakhruddin covered not only the foundational beliefs of Islam, but explored many of the trouble’s Muslim minorities experience.
Not only do Muslims experience the most reported religious discrimination but are more likely than other religious groups to experience it at the institutional level, according to the presentation.
“A lot of Muslims face that whether they’re in the workforce, in schools or applying for jobs,” said Fakhruddin.
The Islamic Center of Nashville has partnered with many organizations and Metro-Nashville schools within Davidson County to help develop a better understanding of Islam while helping to stop the spread of harmful misconceptions around the religion.
“Bringing students here and equipping them with knowledge is the first step,” said Fakhruddin. “If you don’t know our community, then how can you advocate for us?”
In the past, the Islamic Nashville Center and Belmont University have collaborated in volunteering with the Room in The Inn – a non-profit that assists homeless individuals with housing.
Fakhruddin sees a future where the two communities can continue to deepen their relationship.
“One area that would be awesome to have would be an intern from Belmont,” Fakhruddin said.
“That would be a dream."
For now, the Islamic Center of Nashville will hold their fourth and final presentation Monday at 6:00 p.m. in the Islamic Center of Nashville on 12 South.
This article was written by Seth Thorpe