Harford Muslims to hold open house Aug. 20

Members of the local Muslim community will reach out to their neighbors of all faiths by hosting a traditional Ramadan iftar, or fast-breaking dinner, this Saturday evening, Aug. 20, at Harford Community College's Chesapeake Hall.

"As more than one billion Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan by fasting and appreciating the blessings given to us, it is equally important for the American Muslim community to reach out to our neighbors as an example of true Islamic ideals," Dr. Rehan Khan, of Masjid Al-Falaah Harford County Education Society, said in a news release. "We are here to show our friends and neighbors that American Muslims will continue to be contributing members of our society."


Kahn's group is based in Abingdon, where it has plans to build a small worship and multi-purpose center on its property in the 3000 block of Philadelphia Road.

Plans for that project have been progressing slowly, but another county review of the project was done Wednesday.

According to information sent about the open house Saturday, Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments.

Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam.

The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers called "Eid ul-Fitr," or Feast of the Fast-Breaking, on Aug. 30.

There are an estimated 100 Muslim families in Harford County (and seven million in the United States), Kahn said in an interview with The Aegis in May. He said local families have to go mosques in Baltimore County because there are no worship centers in Harford.

He also said he expects the number of Muslims in Harford to grow as a result of BRAC and other economic and demographic factors.

Kahn is listed as the contact for Saturday's open house, at 202-236-7338.