In an unprecedented event, hundreds of Muslims broke their fast and offered congregational Taraweeh prayers at New York City’s Times Square in the US on the first day of the holy month of Ramzan.
Taraaweeh is — a part of the Holy Quran is recited each day during Ramzan until its completion.
On Saturday night, 1500 meals were provided to Muslims on the pavements of Times Square, the city’s busiest artery, which was then followed up by hundreds of Muslims taking part in the Taraweeh prayers. Times Square is a major commercial area and tourist destination in midtown Manhattan in New York City. It is one of the “most visited tourist attractions” which draws around 50 million visitors a year, as per media reports.
“We actually are doing this so that we can become closer and more contentious of our creator, our lord, Allah,” SQ, one of the organizers of the gathering said, according to CBS News. “We’re here to explain our religion to all those that don’t know what Islam is all about,” he said, adding that “Islam is a religion of peace.”
A person attending the Taraweeh said that there are a lot of misconceptions about Islam. “There are crazy people throughout all cultures, all religions, and those small groups of people do not represent the majority … We’re encouraged to pray, fast, do good deeds, give charity,” the man said, according to CBS.
Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which the followers of Islam fast between dawn and sunset, pray for peace and guidance, give back to the community in the form of charity or zakaat or engage in humanitarian activities such as feeding the underprivileged and introspect to enlighten their souls. This annual observance of Ramzan is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. It lasts between one sighting of the crescent moon and the next.