Masjid Al-Nour in the News

Posted on: 14 June 2013

Masjid Al-Nour in the News

CARBONDALE — A little more than a dozen people sit around tables inside the masjid, tossing dates back and forth in which to celebrate the breaking of the fast for the upcoming Ramadan. That high holy day is observed with fasting, from sun up to sun down, and marks the presentation of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, their holy book, the Prophet Mohammad.

One of those gathered mentions a Ramadan custom that is popular in Africa, while another alludes to Pakistani and yet another person confirms that, indeed, a Yemeni restaurant is being opened up.

Appreciative "aahhs" greet a comment from Abdul Haqq, imam of the Carbondale Muslim Center, that he likes to watch movies under the stars.

Before the meeting ends, "the voice of reason" — as Shiekh Din of the Sufi community calls her — has suggested that a smaller group meet during the Ramadan observances, in order to create a schedule of prayer and fellowship to benefit everyone.

Though dates vary from location to location, Ramadan will be observed from Thursday, June 18, to Friday, July 17, according to Ramadan Month website.

The group breaks, and the men and women make their way into separate entrances into the musallah, a large, wide open area for prayer inside this masjid at 530 N. Wall St. in Carbondale. The men walk in a door near the front, while the women enter through a door on the back side. Once inside, they kneel on the carpeting, then stand and bow, before kneeling again, as they are lead in prayer.

Though the two groups have visited each other before, this year the two communities plan to strategically share this high holy day, as one put it, to coordinate their schedules — their iftars, and 4th of July celebrations with fireworks on the Sufi farm — and look like a unified community.

"This is a new alliance," said one woman who identified herself as the spiritual director of the Sufi community. "This is an exercise in modeling cooperation and getting (things) done."

Ramadan is the most celebrated observance to Muslims, Imam Haqq said.

The coming-together, he noted, is a "sharing of that experience."