Muslims in Tulsa observe Ramadan

Sunday, November 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The holy month is called Ramadan; it’s a time of praying and fasting for people of the Islamic faith.

Tulsa has 8,000 Muslims. News on Six reporter Heather Brooker talked with a handful of them Saturday about what it means to have the US involved in a war with a mostly Muslim nation during this holy time. University of Tulsa student Mohammad Khawaja is finding his peace during Ramadan. It's a special time on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar where Muslims will fast, and pray for family, friends and people of the world. "You kind of build yourself, you build character you build your ethics and you build your generosity most of all." Khawaja says because Ramadan is such a holy time for Muslims, he thinks US forces should back off from fighting, and let the citizens of Afghanistan participate in their holy time. "The attacks should stop especially in this month because you need to give them time and you need to have sympathy for them.”

The Muslim observation of Ramadan is very much alive here in Tulsa. Muslims come to the Islamic Center to pray and find a spiritual renewal during this month. "This is a peaceful month. It’s a month devoted for worship and devoted for God." Hussein Khattab has raised his family in the United States, but still observes the religion of his heritage. He says it's important for people in the community to understand his faith. "It's very important that we know about each other in this community." He too says fighting should stop in reverence of this holy month. "Yes all these actions should be halted so Muslims can observe that month peacefully."

Both men say they will support whatever decision the government makes during this time. And they will continue to pray for the peace of the world. From November 16th to December 16th, Muslims are to fast from sun-up to sundown as well as abstain from sex.