[Sabreena Haque describes Ramadan as a spiritual discipline. Image from CBC]
Saskatchewan (Canada): More than 100 community leaders from around the city of Saskatchewan in Canada, including church dignitaries and politicians, came together to a pre-Ramadan luncheon at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Heritage Centre to learn what this sacred month is all about.
"People are nervous about asking questions," explained Sabreena Haque, a Muslim woman and member of the Regina chapter of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan, which organized the event, CBC News reported.
"It's good just to come forward and just explain to people. Once you start talking, then people start asking questions," Haque said.
Thousands of Muslims in Saskatchewan are preparing to mark the start of Ramadan an intense month of fasting from dawn to dusk. Ramadan could begin on May 26 and ends June 24. The decision is made based on sighting of moon.
Haque explained the event is meant to create a bridge between communities. Haque described it as a type of spiritual training, where charity is emphasized.
Faisal Khan, president of the association's Regina chapter said, "It's a great opportunity to let others know who we are, why do we fast every year and what effect it has, and the generosity that we do."
"We call this home now, just as you do and it's a great place to be", he said.
He explained that Ramadan allows Muslims to understand better the pain felt by the impoverished.
"It gets us, first of all, understanding of what poor people go through and it helps us become more compassionate with them and it just generally results in a lot of generosity," explained Khan.
"Ramadan ends with Eid El-Fitr, a major Islamic holiday. It begins with a prayer, then a celebratory feast. This year's celebration is taking place at the old Mosaic Stadium", said Khan.
"This is going to be one grand event for the Muslim community," he added.