Farmington–September 25–As this goes to press we are in the fifth day of Ramadan, Wednesday 9/27/06–1427. All local mosques are celebrating Ramadan, each in its own way. Following is an exploration of festivities at the Tawheed Center in Farmington Hills and at several other local mosques.
This year, many mosques we talked with in Southeast Michigan began fasting on Saturday–a monumental shift in practice–and tarawih prayers started Friday. Some mosques began fasting on Sunday, and some even on Monday. â€˜Eidul Fitr is expected for many of the mosques on Monday October 23, 2006.
On June 10, 2006, the Fiqh Council of North America smashed a deadlock that had stagnated cooperation between mosques–at even the basic level of celebrating â€˜eid on the same day–by agreeing by consensus that holy months and days could be calculated based on astronomical calculations.
That story was printed in TMOâ€™s Volume 8 Issue 36 edition in late August and is still available on our website (http://muslimobserver.com//?p=333). Many local mosques, like the Muslim Unity Center in Detroit, acquiesced to the FCNAâ€™s decision; some others, like the Bloomfield Muslim Unity Center, instead accepted the decision of the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan, which had reached a similar determination.
The Islamic Shura Council of Michigan (a collection of mainly Sunni Michigan mosques) determined that once the hilal is sighted in any Muslim country around the world, that sighting is also applicable to Michigan mosques. This already clears a great deal of chaos, (although some do argue that it does not go far enough), by making Ramadan begin earlier rather than depending on Muslims traipsing out late at night past snakes and rednecks to local Genesee or Oakland county hilltops.
A typical local mosque is the Tawheed Center, on 10 Mile Road in Farmington Hills. This past Sunday the evening began with an iftar including the best quality Pakistani food, with meat, chicken, delicious bread, water, orange juice and tea. A crowd of perhaps 400 people devoured their fill, leaving still more food as leftovers. Many stayed after iftar, waiting for the â€˜isha and tarawih prayers.
Mosque spokesmen explained that the mosque has been full every night since Ramadan began, filled to overflowing during prayers. especially on weekends. Every night they pray tarawih, reading 1.25 juz of Qur`an behind Imam Suhail, a hafiz educated in London whom the mosque recently hired
The Tawheed Center recently made a significant investment in its parking lot–until recently overflow parking was able to go into a next-door church, but problems led to church-parking-privileges being withdrawn. The Tawheed Center seems to have adequately addressed its needs, by installing perhaps as many as 200 new parking spaces with a professional contracting company. Despite this, the mosque is still forced to hold two jumaâ€™a prayer services every Friday because of cramped prayer-room conditions.
The mosque made no attempt to bring outside scholars this year–despite the traditional effort to bring in especially trained Azhari scholars, very few local mosques do this. This is sad because especially in this country we have an extreme need for real traditional knowledge of Islam.
The Tawheed Center does have plans for expansion in the near future–the amount of expansion will depend on the amount of money it is able from fundraising for the purpose.
Bloomfield Unity Center Activities this Ramadan
BUC started fasting on Friday, in accordance with the Islamic Shura Council of Michiganâ€™s ruling that someoneâ€™s having seen the moon in any Muslim country is sufficient for this area as well. The Islamic Shura Council is a coalition of mostly Sunni mosques, now chaired by Mouhib Ayas, who is also the president of BUCâ€™s board of directors.
BUC will provide Saturday iftars during Ramadan.
â€˜Isha & tarawih prayers are at 9:15 pm until almost 11:00 pm, completing one juz of Qur`an.
About 200 people are present at a typical tarawih prayer session at BUC–the mosque even exceeds its prayer hall capacity on weekends.
IAGD started fasting Saturday 9/23 in accordance with the FCNA ruling. Tarawih is after â€˜isha. According to a recorded message, their schedule is as follows: 9/22 â€“ 10/1, tarawih at 8:45; 10/2â€”10/10, tarawih at 8:30; 10/11-10/21, tarawih at 8:15pm.
They intend to finish Qur`an the night of 10/18, and there will be additional prayers that night.
They intend two â€˜eid prayers on Monday October 23, at 8:15 and 10:30 am. For that day they will have overflow parking available at St. Paul Albanian Church east of IAGD on Auburn roadâ€”there will be a regular shuttle to IAGD from there.
Islamic House of Wisdom
IHW started fasting on Sunday.
Their Ramadan program comprises dual programs, one in English and one in Arabic, starting at 9:00 pm every night. In Arabic, Shaykh Hyder Hossairy from Syria will speak. There will be a Q&A session with Sayyid Tijani. Shaykh Hossairy is also doing a Powerpoint lecture. Sayyid Tijani talks about the purpose of Ramadan.
In English, there will be a rotating group of speakers, 4 or 5 speakers for the whole month. â€˜Eid is expected on Tuesday, 10/24.
IHW intends two iftars, one on Saturday 10/7, the other on Saturday 10/14.
Detroit Muslim Unity Center
DUC began fasting on Saturday in accordance with the Fiqh Council of North America ruling, and Imam El-Amin explains that this decision was made to foster community unity.
Tarawih prayers are attended by about 35 people each night. This number usually increases throughout the month and on weekends.
DUC provides iftar every night–pot luck–some people cook, some cater, some bring their own food.
Tarawih is simple at DUC: 8 rakats, no intention to finish Qur`an during Ramadan. 8 tarawih plus 3 witr. Tarawih prayer is done in about 20 minutes there.
Islamic Institute of Knowledge
IIK began fasting Monday.
IIK will provide an English lecture every night at 9pm, ending at around 10pm, by Shaykh Muhamad Sadiq al-Ibrahimi–these lectures will be at the Academy.
There is also an Arabic program, also at 9pm w/ Shaykh Chahadi, Shaykh Yusuf Yasin, and Shaykh Muhamad Malallal; Congregational prayer is at dawn, 6am, with Shaykh al-Ibrahimi, and congregational prayers are done at noon.
Saturday 9/30, there will be a small Ramadan program/lecture, also by Shaykh al-Ibrahimi, from 9:30 pm to 10:30 pm. This will be covered by Bashar TV, an affiliate of Bridges TV.
IIK will also hold a fundraiser, after Ramadan, on Nov 5, Sunday, at 3pm.
IIK will hold occasional iftars–they are hoping to do 3 or 4 of them during Ramadan.