Here's the text of a press release circulated by my friend and colleague Suleman Nagdi, spokesman for the Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO).
On behalf of the Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO), I would like to extend my sincere and gracious Ramadan greetings to all. This is a time when a fifth of the world's population are united in devotion to their faith and desire to serve and develop a special bond with Alláh. Ramadan is a month of prayer, patience, reflection and generosity, the month in which the Qur’án was revealed as guidance to mankind. The journey of each Muslim during this period is an exceptionally intense, deep and emotional one as they seek to find inner peace and solitude.
Ramadan is not only a mere abstention from food and water between dawn and sunset. Refraining from material earthly desires by virtue of fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and is mandatory for every Muslim. It is a period when we evaluate ourselves and attempt to purify our hearts and minds. It is a time to cleanse the spirit and to forgive, not only ourselves but all others. Islam preaches that we help those that are needy and Ramadan gives us an opportunity to focus our efforts on this with even more commitment. Let us pray that we take this opportunity to foster unity and brotherhood among all our different communities in our city and county. Suleman Nagdi - FMO