American Muslims Celebrate Ramadan

November 25, 2000

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On November 25, 2000, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "at the first glimmer of sunrise Monday, Muslims around the world will begin the monthlong observance of Ramadan, one of the holiest periods of their year. During daylight during this period, Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking and engaging in sexual activity. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year, is one of the five pillars of Islam --- the others are the affirmation that there is only one God, daily prayer, charity and making a pilgrimage to Mecca. The holiday officially begins in the pre-dawn darkness, at the first sighting of the crescent moon --- a popular expression says Ramadan starts when one can tell the difference between a white and a black thread. Muslims believe Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel. The religion, which claims an estimated 1.2 billion people, began about A.D. 600. Muslims believe that some figures in Judaism and Christianity --- such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus --- were prophets, but believe God's final revelation came through Muhammad and is contained in the Koran. There are an estimated 50,000 Muslims in Georgia and 12 mosques in the metro Atlanta area."