The month of Ramadan is a blessed time for Muslims around the globe, where they practice the act of God-consciousness (taqwa) by abstaining from consuming food & drink along with not engaging intimate relations during daylight hours. The intention and effort one puts into this act of worship can also be a means of expiating (getting rid of sins) at the conclusion of the month.
Traditionally, Muslims break their fast with a small meal (iftaar) a couple moments after sunset. Following the small (break-fast), Muslims will complete the first evening prayer called Maghrib. Then they may gather with friends and family for a somewhat larger meal to rejuvenate after a day of fasting.
The Ramadan Connection Program (RCP) is all about connecting people with others so they have a place to share in the communal aspect of breaking one’s fast. It allows those who may not have the established social network build up connections in community while enjoying a lovingly prepared iftaar.
Who is this program for?
- New Muslims who’ve never experienced the Month of Ramadan giving them a place/host family to go to and enjoy breaking fast communally.
- Born-Muslims who are from out of town who are without their own family or community to break fast with.
- General community members (non-Muslims) just wanting to experience what communal fast breaking is like and get to know Muslims face-to-face.
If you are interested in being a beneficiary of this program please contact us or email newmuslimcirclecalgary [at] gmail [dot] com.
- Be on time
- Do not cancel your attendance unless its an emergency, it is bad etiquette to not attend an invitation
- Be ready to try new foods
- Don’t be shy even when you are being told eat more than your can bear
- You know your own body
- Plus we ask hosts not to push you on this.
- You don’t have to have deep conversations about why you embraced Islam with your host
- You should never be corned into getting that emotionally revealing with your host.
- Because you’ve got your hosts address, send them a Thank You card in the mail close to Eid (Festival day when the month of Ramadan ends)
- You’re not obliged to bring a gift to your hosts, but something small and modest is okay if you want to
- You’re not obliged to attend Taraweeh (night prayers) with your host
- You may if you want, but remember don’t let a optional thing disrupt your obligations (to pray your fair prayer for instance)
Q. How do I host an iftaar?
A. Contact New Muslim Circle, please note, priority goes to pre-selected host families or individuals who have done it before.
Q. But breaking fast is often in the late evening during summer Ramadans?
A. By now most Calgarian Muslims have gone through a couple summer Ramadans and now have an idea what to do when hosting people so late at night.
Q. How many people should a host expect?
A. It’s really up to the host on how many they can handle. We’ve seen 1 to 20+ done.
Q. What about children?
A. Children should be welcome as best they can, let them also enjoy the festivities. However, if children are something you can’t manage, make it known to New Muslim Circle.
Q. Host asking “What kind of food shall I make?”
A. Make what you know best, share your traditions.
A. It’s suggested you make at least one food item that is tasty to all sensibilities.
A. Some people like to try new foods while others may be hesitant.
A. Ask about allergies beforehand.
A. And, don’t make too much food and make your guest’s belly burst.
Q.What days of the week are the iftaars happening?
A. We only schedule them for Fridays and Saturdays as it is more manageable on weekend nights.
Q. Timing of guest arrival?
A. It’s normal to have your guest arrive as early as you like before Maghrib, we’ve often seen 30 to 60 minutes before, as a suggestion.
A. We do our best to make sure they can get to you, but if a guest needs a ride we ask that you accommodate as best you can.
Q. Night Prayers after iftaar (Taraweeh)?
A. It is not always wise to be hasty encouraging taraweeh prayers upon a new Muslim. Remember they are just learning and praying too late may cause them to miss their Fajr (morning prayer). Let them grow into this naturally, without haste.