By Milad Alucozai
Lafayette, IN â€“ Local Muslims gathered on Tuesday morning to join more than a billion around the world in marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which calls for fasting during daylight hours.
Located in central Indiana, Lafayette is mid-size Midwestern city with a community of about 1,000 Muslims. They gathered in the Old Burtsfield Gymnasium (a local school no longer in use) from every race, nationality, and economic status, to offer their prayers.
The event was organized by the Islamic Society of Greater Lafayette and drew a crowd young and old, with local families and their children joining with students from nearby Purdue University, as well as non-Muslim visitors taking advantage of the congregationâ€™s open invitation to the community.
The special prayer began promptly at 8:00 am and was followed by a khutbah emphasizing the importance of building bridges with the broader community.
The khatib told attendees that they must be ambassadors of Islam not only in the Mosque but also at school, in the workplace, and elsewhere, by carrying themselves with the highest character and doing good deeds.
â€œDo not be just a doctor, a teacher, or a student. Be a Muslim doctor, a Muslim teacher, a Muslim student,â€ he said, â€œBe mindful of how your conduct is perceived and represent Islamic in the best light.â€
Every Ramadan, Muslims young and old need to go back to the Quran and the teachings of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s) to become better Muslims.
This is even more important in these tough times when heated rhetoric and acts of violence against Muslim Americans (and non-Muslim Arab Americans) have increased.
As Muslim, we must do our part to break down prejudices and barriers through our daily actions.