By Rawaa Ali

American society is distinguished by its diverse religious communities and by its openness to others. The United States Constitution demands respect for all religions without discrimination. To find in this country the safe place they have long dreamed of, living in it and enjoying the benefits of security and peace. For this reason, people from around the globe have come to the U.S.; whose society is characterized by its high acceptance of others in the different colors, forms, sects, beliefs and religions.

The evidence of freedom and respect for religions in American society can be seen everywhere. An example of such religious tolerance and freedom comes in the form of Ramadan. Muslims are allowed to fast and pray. It is a spiritual month in which a person approaches his Lord by praying, praising and forgoing the acts of eating and drinking from dawn to dusk. The opportunity to tame one’s self and to cultivate patience and endurance in order to feel the suffering of the poor and needy.

In order to maintain their ties to their cultural heritage, many Muslims living in the United States retain their Islamic customs and traditions. Families are keen to gather at one table for Iftar together to strengthen relations between all members of the family and the Islamic community there in general.

There are many Mosques in the United States, which are filled with worshipers, during the Month of Ramadan. Taraweeh prayers, seminars and religious lectures are held in the mosques to answer the religious inquiries of the Muslim communities, as well as, the organization of Islamic charities and institutions for many activities. The holy month becomes a guiding event for Muslims where mosques are filled with worshipers to perform obligatory prayers and Sunna.   These mosques seek to develop scientific, cultural and social curriculum to receive the Holy Month. As well as to invite imams from inside and outside the United States, to lead the prayers in Taraweeh.

Educational programs and religious seminars and lectures are held to build bridges of dialogue with non-Muslims, in a number of areas of the United States, which allows many citizens understand Islam to a greater degree. There is an opportunity for Muslims in these seminars to express their tolerance, brotherhood, compassion, harmony and solidarity.  As a result of the interaction of Arab-Muslims with the community, non-Muslim Americans were able to understand the idea of fasting and why it is required in Islam.

Muslims in the United States wait for the night of the twenty-seventh of Ramadan (Laylat al-Qadr) where many stay in mosques and squares. They devote themselves to praying, reading Qur’an, listening to religious sermons and frequent supplications on this blessed night until Fajr prayer. After the sun rises, these worshipers go home with friends and relatives and look forward to the occasion of Eid Al-fitr Holiday.

In view of this, some find that Muslims in the United States are highly committed to their religion. They adhere to their principles and customs and imbue the positive aspects of American society as well.

  ‬بقلم‭ ‬رواء‭ ‬علي

يمتاز‭ ‬المجتمع‭ ‬الأمريكي‭ ‬بتنوع‭ ‬الطوائف‭ ‬الدينية‭ ‬بين‭ ‬مواطنيه‭ ‬وبإنفتاحه‭ ‬الكبير‭ ‬على‭ ‬الأخرين،‭ ‬فالدستور‭ ‬الأمريكي‭ ‬ينص‭ ‬على‭ ‬احترامِ‭ ‬العباداتِ‭ ‬والأديانِ‭ ‬كلها‭ ‬دون‭ ‬تفرقة؛‭ ‬فترى‭ ‬الناس‭ ‬قد‭ ‬جاءوا‭ ‬من‭ ‬كل‭ ‬بقاع‭ ‬العالم‭ ‬ليعيشوا‭ ‬في‭ ‬أمريكا‭ ‬التي‭ ‬يمتاز‭ ‬مجتمعها‭ ‬بتقبُله‭ ‬العالي‭ ‬للآخرين‭ ‬على‭ ‬إختلاف‭ ‬ألوانهم‭ ‬وأشكالهم‭ ‬والطوائف‭ ‬والمعتقدات‭ ‬والديانات‭ ‬التي‭ ‬يعتنقها‭ ‬معتقديها؛‭ ‬ليجدوا‭ ‬في‭ ‬هذا‭ ‬البلد‭ ‬المكان‭ ‬الآمن‭ ‬الذي‭ ‬طالما‭ ‬حلموا‭ ‬أن‭ ‬يعيشوا‭ ‬فيه‭ ‬وينعموا‭ ‬بخيراته‭ ‬بأمنٍ‭ ‬وسلام‭.‬

إن‭ ‬الشواهد‭ ‬على‭ ‬حرية‭ ‬وإحترام‭ ‬الأديان‭ ‬في‭ ‬المجتمع‭ ‬الأمريكي‭ ‬كثيرة‭ ‬وخيرُ‭ ‬دليل‭ ‬على‭ ‬ذلك‭ ‬مثلاً‭ ‬ممارسة‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬لشعائرهم‭ ‬الدينية‭ ‬وطقوسهم‭ ‬الرمضانية‭ ‬وإقبالهم‭ ‬على‭ ‬الصيام‭ ‬خلال‭ ‬شهر‭ ‬رمضان‭ ‬الذي‭ ‬يعد‭ ‬شهراً‭ ‬مباركا‭ ‬ومقدساً‭ ‬عند‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬جميعاً‭. ‬فهو‭ ‬شهر‭ ‬روحاني‭ ‬يقترب‭ ‬فيه‭ ‬العبد‭ ‬من‭ ‬ربه‭ ‬بالصلاة‭ ‬والدعاء‭ ‬والتسبيح‭ ‬والإمساك‭ ‬عن‭ ‬الأكل‭ ‬والشرب‭ ‬منذ‭ ‬بزوغ‭ ‬الفجر‭ ‬وحتى‭ ‬المغيب،في‭ ‬فرصة‭ ‬لترويض‭ ‬النفس‭ ‬على‭ ‬الصبر‭ ‬والتحمل‭ ‬وللإحساس‭ ‬بمعاناة‭ ‬الفقراء‭ ‬والمساكين‭ ‬حتى‭ ‬يبادر‭ ‬الميسورين‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬مساعدة‭ ‬المحتاجين‭ ‬وتقديم‭ ‬العون‭ ‬لهم‭. ‬

المسلمون‭ ‬في‭ ‬المجتمع‭ ‬الأمريكي‭ ‬سواء‭ ‬من‭ ‬يحملون‭ ‬الجنسية‭ ‬الأمريكية‭ ‬أو‭ ‬غيرهم‭ ‬محتفظين‭ ‬بعاداتهم‭ ‬وتقاليدهم‭ ‬الإسلامية،‭ ‬فكل‭ ‬أسرة‭ ‬تحمل‭ ‬تقاليدَ‭ ‬مجتمعها،‭ ‬وتعمل‭ ‬على‭ ‬إحيائها‭ ‬في‭ ‬بلدها‭ ‬الثاني‭ ‬أمريكا‭. ‬حيث‭ ‬تحرص‭ ‬الأُسر‭ ‬على‭ ‬التجمعِ‭ ‬على‭ ‬مائدةٍ‭ ‬واحدةٍ‭ ‬للإفطار‭ ‬معًا‭ ‬من‭ ‬أجلِ‭ ‬تقوية‭ ‬العلاقات‭ ‬بين‭ ‬جميع‭ ‬أفرادِ‭ ‬الأسرة‭ ‬والمجتمع‭ ‬الإسلامي‭ ‬عامة‭. ‬

تنتشر‭ ‬العديد‭ ‬من‭ ‬مساجد‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬في‭ ‬مختلف‭ ‬الولايات‭ ‬المتحدة‭ ‬والتي‭ ‬تمتلئ‭ ‬بالمصلين‭ ‬بشكل‭ ‬ملحوظ‭ ‬خلال‭ ‬شهر‭ ‬رمضان‭ ‬وخاصةً‭ ‬وقت‭ ‬صلاة‭ ‬التراويح،وتُعقد‭ ‬داخل‭ ‬المساجد‭ ‬ندوات‭ ‬ومحاضرات‭ ‬دينية‭ ‬للإجابة‭ ‬عن‭ ‬الاستفسارات‭ ‬الدينية‭ ‬للجاليات‭ ‬الإسلامية‭. ‬إلى‭ ‬جانبِ‭ ‬تنظيم‭ ‬المؤسسات‭ ‬والجمعيات‭ ‬الخيرية‭ ‬الإسلامية‭ ‬للعديد‭ ‬من‭ ‬الأنشطة‭ ‬التعريفية‭ ‬بالصيام‭ ‬وفضله‭ ‬وبالإسلام‭ ‬عامة‭. ‬فيتحول‭ ‬الشهر‭ ‬الكريم‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬مناسبةٍ‭ ‬دعويةٍ‭ ‬إرشاديةٍ‭ ‬للمسلمين‭ ‬وغير‭ ‬المسلمين،‭ ‬حيث‭ ‬تمتلئ‭ ‬المساجد‭ ‬بالمصلين‭ ‬لأداء‭ ‬الفرائض‭ ‬والسنن‭. ‬وتسعى‭ ‬هذه‭ ‬المساجد‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬وضع‭ ‬مناهج‭ ‬علمية‭ ‬وثقافية‭ ‬وإجتماعية‭ ‬لإستقبال‭ ‬الشهر‭ ‬الكريم،‭ ‬كما‭ ‬تعمل‭ ‬على‭ ‬دعوة‭ ‬الأئمة‭ ‬من‭ ‬داخل‭ ‬وخارج‭ ‬الولايات‭ ‬المتحدة،لإمامة‭ ‬المصلين‭ ‬في‭ ‬صلاة‭ ‬التراويح‭ ‬والقيام‭. ‬كذلك‭ ‬إعداد‭ ‬برامج‭ ‬تثقيفية‭ ‬حيث‭ ‬تُقام‭ ‬ندوات‭ ‬ومحاضرات‭ ‬دينيةلمد‭ ‬جسور‭ ‬الحوار‭ ‬مع‭ ‬غير‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬في‭ ‬عدد‭ ‬من‭ ‬مناطق‭ ‬الولايات‭ ‬المتحدة،‭ ‬الأمر‭ ‬الذي‭ ‬يسمح‭ ‬للكثير‭ ‬من‭ ‬المواطنين‭ ‬رؤية‭ ‬الأصدقاء‭ ‬وكذلك‭ ‬الأطفال‭.‬وتتاح‭ ‬الفرصة‭ ‬للمسلمين‭ ‬في‭ ‬هذه‭ ‬الندوات‭ ‬التعبير‭ ‬عن‭ ‬دينهم‭ ‬وسط‭ ‬كل‭ ‬الديانات،‭ ‬وإظهار‭ ‬السماحة‭ ‬والتآخي‭ ‬والتراحم‭ ‬والتآلف‭ ‬والتكافل‭ ‬بين‭ ‬المسلمين‭.‬ونتيجة‭ ‬للاختلاط‭ ‬ولتفاعل‭ ‬العرب‭ ‬المسلمون‭ ‬مع‭ ‬المجتمع‭ ‬إستطاع‭ ‬الأمريكيون‭ ‬من‭ ‬غيرِ‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬التعرف‭ ‬على‭ ‬فكرة‭ ‬الصيام‭ ‬والعبادات‭ ‬الإسلامية‭ ‬عامة‭.‬

وينتظر‭ ‬المسلمون‭ ‬في‭ ‬أمريكا‭ ‬ليلة‭ ‬السابع‭ ‬والعشرين‭ ‬من‭ ‬رمضان‭ (‬ليلة‭ ‬القدر‭)‬،‭ ‬حيث‭ ‬يمكث‭ ‬الكثيرون‭ ‬داخل‭ ‬المساجد‭ ‬والساحات‭ ‬للتفرغ‭ ‬للصلاة‭ ‬وقراءة‭ ‬القرآن‭ ‬وسماع‭ ‬المواعظ‭ ‬الدينية‭ ‬وكثرة‭ ‬الدعاء‭ ‬في‭ ‬هذه‭ ‬الليلة‭ ‬المباركة‭ ‬حتى‭ ‬صلاة‭ ‬الفجر،‭ ‬ثم‭ ‬يذهبون‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬منازلهم‭ ‬برفقة‭ ‬الأصدقاء‭ ‬والأقارب‭ ‬لتبادلوا‭ ‬التهاني‭ ‬بمناسبة‭ ‬قرب‭ ‬قدوم‭ ‬عيد‭ ‬الفطر‭ ‬المبارك‭.‬

ونظراً‭ ‬لذلك‭ ‬يجد‭ ‬البعض‭ ‬أن‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬أكثر‭ ‬التزاماً‭ ‬في‭ ‬أمريكا،‭ ‬وبأنهم‭ ‬متمسكون‭ ‬بمبادئهم‭ ‬وعاداتهم‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬جانب‭ ‬إكتسابهم‭ ‬لكل‭ ‬ما‭ ‬هو‭ ‬نافع‭ ‬من‭ ‬خبرات‭ ‬وثقافات‭ ‬متنوعة‭ ‬من‭ ‬المجتمع‭ ‬الأمريكي‭.‬والمجتمع‭ ‬الأمريكي‭ ‬عامةً‭ ‬يتفاعل‭ ‬من‭ ‬خلال‭ ‬إهتمام‭ ‬وسائل‭ ‬الإعلام‭ ‬بحلولِ‭ ‬الشهر‭ ‬الكريم،‭ ‬ونشر‭ ‬الصحف‭ ‬لمواعيد‭ ‬بدء‭ ‬الصيام،‭ ‬وكذلك‭ ‬نشر‭ ‬المواد‭ ‬الصحفية‭ ‬الخاصة‭ ‬بالشهر‭ ‬من‭ ‬عادات‭ ‬وتقاليد‭ ‬المسلمين‭ ‬وأشهر‭ ‬الأكلات‭ ‬التي‭ ‬تنتشر‭ ‬في‭ ‬أوساط‭ ‬الجالية‭ ‬الإسلامية‭.‬