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Area Muslims Fasting The Month of Ramadan

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/areamuslim_3745.mp3

For almost 30 days the small Muslim community in the Ozarks has been abstaining from food and water during the sunlight hours.

KSMU's Erika Brame has more.

Wafaa Kaf has prepared a large meal to share with her family and friends.

Her living room is filled with friends of many other religions and backgrounds.

The kitchen counter tops are covered with food from meat to salad to delicious deserts.

"These are special deserts and you can only see during Ramadan."

Muslims have spent all day fasting and will break it tonight when the sun sets.

This fast is apart of the religious tradition of Ramadan which lasts for one month.

It is 7:13 p.m. and the sun has just slipped below the horizon the call to prayer means she can break her fast.

She translates the words to this call.

"So it says God is great, God is great. I bare witness that no God except the God and prophet Mohamed is a messenger of God. It's time for prayer it's time for prayer."

Now she must break her fast by drinking apricot juice and eating dates as part of the tradition.

"... Oh thank you. I need to break my fasting. I feel it ... right away like you know that's why we make the ... when we drink the first time. Like you know I thank God for making be able to eat or drink after being fasting."

She breaks her fast then Kaf answers the call to prayer with several others.

The person leading the prayer is called the Imam.

Muslims are instructed to pray five times a day.

Kaf says these prayers are a time for her to spend with God.

"You have a meeting with the creator with the master with the God with the lord. So we have to be in a very good internal state to meeting with someone you would love to be in his presence."

Kaf says Ramadan is more than just fasting from food and water but also from

desire.

"If you are able to control you desires, if you are able to make yourself during these fourteen hours at least a good person. Without saying a lie, without giving a bad face to someone, you've made your self a better person."

She says many Muslims look forward to Ramadan.

"If you ask any Muslim, 'are you excited that Ramadan is approaching?' they would say yes. And we become very sad when it ends. Because you will feel that ah I was so close to Ala."

Ramadan ends this week at which time the Muslim community here will celebrate its Eid holiday.

For KSMU News I'm Erika Brame.