Today, we’re traveling to the United States to see how our Muslim brothers and sisters celebrate Ramadhan there. We hear from Mohamed and Serena, both Singaporeans who currently live and work in the USA!
[Mohamed F. Alias is a Singaporean living and working as a clinical researcher in New York City, New York.]
“In 2022, most masjids have opened up and we often have iftar there. Fasting hours are generally from 4:30am to 7:30pm. I have my suhoor at 4am, and always go to the masjid at the Islamic Centre at NYU (ICNYU) to break fast with friends and pray Maghrib, ‘Ishaa and taraweeh there. The food is varied, sometimes we have fried rice, noodles or pasta, or Asian food. We also occasionally have Western and Arabic dishes!
ICNYU usually hosts a pre-iftar halaqa (study session) before we break our fast, usually just with dates during the adhan. We then pray Maghrib and afterwards enjoy the main meal hosted by them. Common activities are charity programs and donation drives, Qur’an reading sessions, halaqas to improve Islamic knowledge, and many more.
Ramadhan is a time of self-reflection, learning, and spiritual improvement which is something that I love. One thing I miss the most about home is probably breaking fast with my family, and the surprisingly delicious non-spicy minced lamb porridge from the masjid!”
[Serena Zainal first came to the US to do her masters, and is currently living and working in a coastal town there.]
“I used to live in New York where there’s quite a large population of Muslims — Ramadan was bustling with a lot of events held by various local communities! I now live in a smaller coastal city where there aren’t as many Muslims, so my Ramadan is more low key here.
My go-to sahur foods are bananas and dates. I try to keep it simple. I’m not a lavish cook, so my iftar meals usually consist of simple stir-fry chicken with rice. I definitely miss eating authentic Malay food! There’s only one local mosque here that has daily terawih prayers, however it’s a bit further away so I usually just do terawih at home.
One thing I love about Ramadhan is that it’s an intentional time to pause, reflect and renew my relationship with Allah S.W.T..”