As Muslims throughout the state observe the holy month of Ramadan, many are preparing to share their faith with others through distribution of their holy book and a variety of activities and events.
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, begins Saturday. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. During Ramadan, observant Muslims abstain from food, drink and sensual pleasures from sunrise to sunset. The iftar is the meal in which Muslims break their fast at sunset.
Adam Soltani, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Oklahoma chapter, said the group has launched a monthlong campaign called “Know the Quran,” similar to the national organization’s ongoing outreach called “Explore the Quran.”
He said the Oklahoma affiliate is offering free English translations of the Quran to the general public.
Soltani said non-Muslims typically express curiosity when they see observant Muslims refraining from eating or drinking at certain times during the month.
He said fliers with instructions about how to get a free copy of the Quran are being distributed and people can go to the organization’s website to request a copy.
“We’ve seen this ongoing curiosity in our state,” Soltani said.
“We’re hoping, bottom line, this will dispel myths about Islam.”
Meanwhile, Sheryl Siddiqui, of Tulsa, spokeswoman for the Islamic Council of Oklahoma, said other Muslim organizations also are planning outreach activities. The council is a statewide coalition of mosques.
Siddiqui said many Oklahoma mosques try to reach out to their neighbors and co-workers during the holy month, with a focus more on building bridges than converting people.
Along those lines, the Islamic Society of Norman is planning an open house July 5. And Siddiqui said the Islamic Society of Tulsa is hosting its annual free dinner and program called “Look-in on Ramadan” on July 8.
She said other mosques plan to host events for the public as well, with information about these activities to be published on their websites and on Facebook.