On Tuesday-21-March the Borough of Bogota, along with Muslims of Bogota in coordination with Eid Committee of New Jersey, hosted the First Ever Ramadan Celebration in the Borough. This took place in front of the Municipal Building on Larch Ave. As the Sun moved lower in the sky Mr. Muhammad Parvaz gave the call to prayer. When sunset arrived Mr. Mohammed, A Salam lead the first prayer of the new month. Soon afterwards the attendees were invited to enjoy food and refreshments that were offered.
The official ceremony began when Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Imran Iqbal asked Ms. Simra Fatima to lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Next verses from the Muslim Holy Book ‘The Quran’ were read first in Arabic and then the translation, in English. This was followed by Speech by Jenna Makkaoui on Ramadan. Local residents led by Mohammed A Salam from the Eid Committee, Tasneem Salam, the organizer of this celebration and the elected officials thanked everyone for taking the time to join the Muslim Community in sharing this event with them. This also featured Assemblywoman Mrs. Shama Haider, who is the first Pakistani- American to serve in the New Jersey State Assembly and Bogota Mayor Mr. Christopher Kelemen. Mayor Kelemen was presented a proclamation from New Jersey Congressman Mr. Josh Gottheimer in recognition of holding this Ramadan event. Finally, Mrs. Tasneem Salam, Mrs. Seher Iqbal and a group of ladies who helped in organizing this celebration gathered around Assemblywoman Shama Haider, and Mayor Kelemen who lead the countdown to light the Borough Hall to signify the start of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the holy month of fasting, beginning and ending with the appearance of the crescent moon. This is when God revealed to Prophet Muhammad( Peace be Upon Him) ‘The Qur’an’, Islam’s holy book, “as a guidance for the people.” This month is a period of introspection, communal prayers and helping the poor and needy. A part of this period is the Sawm which is to practice a fast-during daylight hours. The end of the month of Ramadan, this year will be on Thursday-20-April and is celebrated as Eid al-Fitr the “Festival of breaking the Fast”.
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