By Laura Fawaz, Contributing Reporter
|Two visitors at the YMA Ramadan iftar at the ICA.|
Dearborn, MIâ€“The Ramadan Series Project continues week two with a visit to the Islamic Center of Americaâ€™s English group, the YMA (Young Muslim Association).
Going to the largest mosque in North America, you would expect a large crowd, the surprise though, was the wide variety in ages of all attendees. The Arabic program was going on in the main hall, while the English program was going on in the prayer room. When moving throughout the mosque, you see the prayer room filled with people of all ages whose main connection is that they are all American-born Muslims. No matter their cultural background, English is still their first language.
The large turnout at the Islamic Center of America is expected annually, so much so that for the last ten years, the police department sends a few officers to the center to help maintain the traffic of cars coming in and out, every night of Ramadan. And as for this year, the city of Dearborn actually had construction done on a Ford rd. just outside of the street to get into the Islamic Center, to ease the traffic flow. This was done early in the spring so that it would be completed in preparation for Ramadan.
When you walk into the Islamic Center, you somehow can just feel the atmosphere of Ramadan. With all of the friendly greeting of Salaam (peace) and so many people catching up with others whom they havenâ€™t seen in a while. The true essence of Ramadan shines out here. Ramadan tonight at the YMA of Dearborn was more than just a nightly program. Itâ€™s become a nightly hangout for the young Muslims of their community for an Islamically appropriate environment.
For the YMAâ€™s annual Ramadan program, a guest speaker is brought in for the first two weeks, and a different one for the last two weeks. This year, Sayed Hossain Qazwini, the brother of the Imam at the Islamic Center, Sayed Hassan Qazwini, came in from California. When we spoke with Imam Sayed Hossain Qazwini about the spirit of those celebrating Ramadan, he had great insight from his community in California, and from the community in Michigan that he has been visiting for several years. His detailed responses can be seen on this weekâ€™s webcast on www.MuslimObserver.com.
Stay tuned to The Muslim Observerâ€™s print and web edition, as well as the weekly webcast for the continuation of the Ramadan Series Project. Week threeâ€™s visit will be at the American Islamic Community Center (AICC) in Madison Heights; to check out their English group Universal LIFE. AICC and Universal LIFE will be hosting an Interfaith Iftar potluck where anyone of any faith is invite to attend and break fast together.