Ramadan in Mexico
By Mudar Abdulghani
MEXICO CITY, November 23,2002 (IslamOnline) - Muslims in Mexico started observing the holy month of Ramadan on November 6.
Some Muslims determined the date based on information received from Islamic countries, while others used information received from adjacent countries, mainly the USA.
The moon sighting information from abroad concurred with information received from the Observatory of the UNAM (the Autonomous University of Mexico.)
As normal, the Taraweeh prayer started immediately on the night before Ramadan, and was well-attended by members of the small Muslim community of Mexico City.
The Islamic Center has planned and implemented a beneficial educational and worship program for the Muslims.
Regular classes of Quran are given before the Maghrib prayer.
After the Iftar (break of the fast), there is another interesting class about the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him.
The fasting starts approximately at 5:30 AM, and continues until about 6 PM.
Since this is a non-Muslim country, Muslims have to keep their regular schedule of work or study, which is from about 9 AM to 5 PM.
Despite this long duration, very few are complaining from fatigue.
The climate in Mexico city is moderately cold nowadays, and this makes the fast more convenient.
The collective Iftar is a good occasion for gathering the Muslims of various nationalities: Arab, Pakistani, as well as an increasing number of Mexican Muslims.
The warm display of brotherhood could account for several new converts (five in the first 10 days of Ramadan,) who have been impressed by the world of Islam and the genuine feelings of brotherhood among Muslims from different races.
Some non-Muslims have been invited to the collective iftar, and it was a good chance to experience the warmth of the Muslim community, and the brotherly atmosphere thatís ready to welcome any stranger in a friendly manner.
The number of those attending the collective Iftar and taraweeh varies between 20-50 everyday, which shows how small the Muslim community in the city is.
Many Muslims find it hard to join these collective activities, due to the fact that they live very far.
With Mexico City being one of the largest in the world, some Muslims have to travel for one or two hours in order to reach the Islamic Center.
A number of Muslims explained that this Ramadan has a better feeling than last year, with more attendance at the Center, and more organized activities that give the Muslims a chance for education as well as worship.
Some new converts expressed excitement at joining such a busy program, and enjoying Ramadan with their newfound brothers and sisters.