Holidays mean family and traditions no matter where you look, in all different corners of the world. Whether it be Ramadan, Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, etc. This Ramadan I am so excited to start engaging my girls in traditions that they will be excited about and look forward to year after year. 

Firstly, what is Ramadan?
In short, the holy month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.  Muslims all over the world fast daily from dawn to dusk every day of this month. We are practicing patience, empathy, self-control, and thankfulness for all of our blessings. At dusk, we break our fast with a meal called iftar, pray, and then eat dinner.    

Metro Detroit Muslims
Here in the Metro Detroit area, we are lucky that there is a very dense population of Muslims as well as a vast number of mosques. Gatherings at the mosque during Ramadan are magical for kids. They get to see a whole community of people that celebrate the same thing they are in the same way they are. For a Muslim American mom, this is especially important in an environment where it is very difficult to feel a sense of belonging as a Muslim. 

A spiritual experience
As we have reached the halfway point of Ramadan I can now truly see the impact and importance of giving my children the experience of going to the mosque.
I took my girls every weekend last year and I’m delighted to say that my girls get excited every weekend this time around as well. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Muslims come from all over the metroplex together.  It is truly a spiritual experience to witness such a beautiful gathering, everyone waiting patiently to end a fast that has lasted almost 16 hours, and the hushed prayers of people right before breaking their fasts. At dusk, when the call to prayer is heard, that marks the end of the fast and everyone eats their first bite together. We celebrate with a special iftar (breaking of the fast) and prayer alongside every other person at the mosque.

Helping Hands
I can see in their eyes that they have been absorbing everything they see at the mosque; the people who are volunteering to help serve the food for breaking the fast, older kids who are helping pass out pizza to the little kids, the ladies who are helping to seat everyone. When we come home, without fail, every time they mimic these behaviors of lending a helping hand in any way they can.

Kindness in action
We decided one weekend to pass out treats at the mosque to show everyone how much we appreciate their efforts. These things are crucial to helping children realize that we as Muslims are all about peace, prayer, and kindness to one another.

Join the festivities!
There are many mosques around the Metro Detroit area that anyone can visit to see firsthand the wonderful community and what Islam is all about. If you are curious about the festivities, anyone is welcome to join the iftar to come to celebrate this blessed time with us. Ramadan Mubarak!

Here is a list of mosques in the area:

American Muslim Diversity Association
44760 Ryan Rd, Sterling Heights, MI 48314

Islamic Association of Greater Detroit
879 W Auburn Rd, Rochester Hills, MI 48307

The Muslim Unity Center
1830 W Square Lake Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

Islamic Cultural Association
35700 West 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331

Tawheed Center
29707 W 10 Mile Rd, Farmington, MI 48336

Islamic Organization of North America
28630 Ryan Rd, Warren, MI 48092

Al Falāh Institute
38325 W 14 Mile Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48331

Islamic Community of As Salaam
21628 Fenkell Ave, Detroit, MI 48223

Muslim Community of Western Suburbs
40440 Palmer Rd, Canton, MI 48188

Canton Islamic Center
5840 N Canton Center Rd #218, Canton, MI 48187

Abu-Bakr Al-Siddique Islamic Center
8904 St Aubin St, Hamtramck, MI 48212

Islamic Center of Hamtramck
11347 Joseph Campau Ave, Hamtramck, MI 48212