by Nura Ahmed
This year, Ramadan starts March 23 and ends April 22, depending on when the crescent moon first appears. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, which reckons time by the moon. It is a part of the five pillars of Islam, a series of obligations that every Muslim needs to abide by. During the month, Muslims fast from sunup to sundown, keeping up with their prayers and working towards purifying their hearts and actions.
Ramadan is also a month when coming together as a community becomes incredibly important. Throughout the month, the community gathers to break their fast after sundown with meals known as iftars (breaking fast), with numerous gatherings happening all over the greater Seattle area.
There are also community presentations held in an effort to increase collective Islamic knowledge by inviting various religious scholars from the Seattle area and all over the country to speak on a variety of topics surrounding Islam, the Muslim community in the west, and more, all while breaking their fast together as a community. Scholars from all over the country have come to Seattle over the years to meet with Seattle’s Muslim community and also participate in these programs. Here are a few organizations hosting iftars and other events throughout Ramadan.
Wasat is a community organization based in South Seattle and is committed to building collective Islamic knowledge as well as cultivating space and community for converts and born Muslims alike. You can check out the events they will be hosting on their Instagram (@wearewasat). Wasat will be holding iftars throughout the month of Ramadan at the Rainier Arts and Cultural Center (3515 S Alaska St., Seattle) every Sunday as well as March 26, April 2, and April 16, and at the Southside Commons (3518 S Edmunds St., Seattle) on April 4, April 11, and April 18. The April 9 iftar will be held at the Swedish Club, (1920 Dexter Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98109).
Wasat will also be holding community-sponsored iftars at the Seattle Children’s Hospital (4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle), on March 31 and April 7, and at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Othello (3939 S Othello St. Suite 101, Seattle), on April 18.
Muslimahs Against Abuse Center (MAAC)
Muslimahs Against Abuse Center (MAAC), is a women-led, faith-driven organization based in South Seattle that is committed to assisting survivors of abuse and harm, especially women. You can check out the events and work that MAAC does on their Instagram (@maacenter). MAAC will be holding iftars every Sunday during the month of Ramadan. See MAAC’s website for more information.
Muslim American Youth Foundation (MAYF)
Muslim American Youth Foundation (MAYF) is a mosque and community center based in Burien, Washington, at 125 S 156th St. MAYF works to advocate for young Muslims in the community and help them become acclimated to the American lifestyle while also staying true to their faith. You can check out the events and work that MAYF does on their Instagram (@mayf_dawah). MAYF will be holding iftars every evening at their Burien location during the month of Ramadan.
Barakah Beauty Collective (BBC)
Barakah Beauty Collective (BBC) is a women-led, faith-driven organization that prioritizes the needs of the women who use their space and also uplifts women entrepreneurs and empowers them to be more and do more for their community. You can check into the events and work that BBC does on their Instagram (@barakahbeautycollective). BBC will be holding iftars every Friday in their Northgate location (540 NE Northgate Way Suite B, Seattle) during the month of Ramadan.
MAPS Seattle is a mosque centrally located in the heart of downtown Seattle. MAPS Seattle is a space for people to attend religious services, but it also serves as a place where people can come for Islamic lectures by religious leaders in the local community and nationwide. MAPS Seattle is holding iftars every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday during Ramadan with an interfaith iftar on the 12th of March, a sister’s iftar on the 8th, and a fundraising iftar/Taraweeh on the 26th. All events will be held in their downtown location ( 2100 5th Ave., Seattle). You can check into the work they do and the events they host on their Instagram (@mapsseattle).
Editors’ Note: This article was updated on 03/29/2023 to correct that iftars are being held at Seattle Children’s Hospital and not the Sand Point Learning Center.
Nura Ahmed is an organizer, writer, and artist based in Seattle and South King County.
📸 Featured Image: People gather to listen to a speaker at Wasat during last year’s Ramadan. (Photo: Jordan Nicholson)
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