Ramadan held at a church in Airdrie

August 16, 2010

http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/ramadan-held-at-a-church-in-airdrie-1.542713

 

During the month of Ramadan Muslims conduct evening prayers every night at sunset.

 

In the Calgary area there isn't enough space in local mosques for the influx of worshipers so some churches are offering a unique cross cultural solution.

 

 

Muslims take part in Taraweeh prayers every night during Ramadan.

 

These prayers are taking place not inside a mosque but a church in Airdrie.

 

There isn't enough space in Calgary area mosques for all the Ramadan worshippers so some Christian churches are opening their doors to Islamic worshippers.

 

One worshipper, Waqar Butt Islamic, told CTV Calgary, "They really cooperated with us. I met with them and they said warm welcome to you guys. You guys pray here, this is a good opportunity for us, for you guys to pray here."

 

The reverend of the Airdrie United Church claims hosting the Muslim prayers doesn't conflict with his congregations Christian values, rather it enhances them.

 

Rev. Dave Pollard of the Airdrie United Church, says, "We are sort of like long lost cousins, so to be able to promote an environment that would mend a rift as opposed to tearing it even further was, I think, a unique opportunity."

 

In Taraweeh prayers, the Qur'an is broken into 30 volumes with one read aloud each night of Ramadan, so by the end the entire Qur'an has been recited.

 

Local Imams maintain by opening their doors to the prayers churches here show a tolerance not often found in the rest of the world.

 

Syed Soharwardy Al Madinah of the Calgary Islamic Centre told us, "This is excellent! I think it helps people understand each other. It brings good understanding of each other. It opens up minds and hearts of different faiths and different beliefs."

 

Ramadan commemorates the month in which Muslims believe the Qur'an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad.

 

Worshipers in the Airdrie United Church are already planning to be here next year.

 

Waqar Butt, an Islamic worshipper says, "Every year, if God helps use will perform every year here."

 

There are about 85,000 Islamic followers in Calgary and area.

 

Ramadan's dates change every year because it's based on a lunar calendar

 

This year it ends on September 9th.

 

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