Month of Ramadan Also a Time for Being Charitable

September 21, 2008

Author: Robin Farmer

Source: The Times-Dispatch

When Amal Damaj learned another Iraqi family had settled in the Richmond area, she quickly visited.

She didn't arrive empty-handed.

Damaj, who lives in Chesterfield County, delivered a basket full of rice, dates, tea, lentils and other items needed during Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims.

While many non-Muslims are aware that the month is observed by fasting during daylight hours, Ramadan also calls for being charitable, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Performing good deeds and strengthening ties with local communities is a tradition during Ramadan, which this year began Sept. 1 and will end Sept 30.

Damaj serves on a refugee-assistance committee at the Islamic Center of Virginia that so far has delivered food baskets to a dozen Iraqi families that have relocated to the area

"Every family that has come, we've given them a supply of food for Ramadan," said Damaj, while visiting the Henrico County home of Omar Almashhadani and his wife, Arafat Abdalla.

Muslims practice charitable giving year-round, but during Ramadan their good deeds are magnified.