Members of the Islamic community joined Mayor Ken Welch in ushering in the holy month of Ramadan with a proclamation from the steps of City Hall on March 14.
BY RAVEN JOY SHONEL, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — The City of St. Petersburg ushered in the holy month of Ramadan, which began Wednesday, March 22, with a proclamation from Mayor Ken Welch speaking from the steps of City Hall on March 14.
Ramadan, celebrated by those of the Islamic faith the world over, is a month of fasting, prayer and reflection and lasts from one crescent moon sighting to the next. It is also the most sacred month in the Muslim faith, marking the point at which God revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad as guidance for the people. It is marked by a period of fasting daily from dawn until dusk.
“We are a city that celebrates its diversity and honors traditions across all faiths,” said Welch. “I’m proud to be here today to present a proclamation in observance of Ramadan in St. Petersburg and offer our city’s best wishes for a successful fast to all those who recognize this special holy month.”
Welch formally proclaimed that starting on March 23 and ending on April 23, 2023 — coordinated on the Hijri calendar year of 1444 — as the month of Ramadan in St. Petersburg and extended his best wishes for a very successful fast and celebration.
Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil explained that during Ramadan, those who observe do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. They do not engage in intimate relations with their wives; they do not gossip, get angry or backbite. However, it is a month of reflection, community, giving, and prayer.
Aquil invited the community to come out and celebrate the fifth annual Iftar dinner, which is the evening meal Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. This year it lands on April 4 at the Coliseum, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The yearly dinner is held to break down barriers and find common ground.
To register for the free dinner, visit bit.ly/StpeteIftar