Cawo Abdi is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota.
U of M expert available to discuss Ramadan
August 4, 2010
On Wednesday, Aug. 11, the holy month of Ramadan begins for Muslims around the globe, with preparations well under way. What is Ramadan's spiritual and historical significance? A University of Minnesota expert who can discuss this important time for Muslims is:
Cawo Abdi, assistant professor, department of sociology, College of Liberal Arts
During the month of Ramadan, adult Muslims who are able to fast, abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from the break of dawn to sunset. Ramadan is sacred for Muslims as it is the month when the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad.
“The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God’s commandments,” Abdi says. “The obligation to fast during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam – along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity and pilgrimage to Mecca – thus an integral requirement in the duties that all Muslims should follow.”
The end of Ramadan commemorates one of the most significant Muslim celebrations, Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Fast-Breaking), which is a time for communal prayer, communal feast and charity. Abdi says that though one might not feel this festive occasion in the American contexts, celebrations that are comparable to the Fourth of July or Christmas occur throughout the Islamic world to commemorate this special day.
Abdi’s teaching and research interests include migration, transnationalism, Islam, gender, family, identity, globalization and forced displacement
To interview Abdi, contact Jeff Falk, University News Service, firstname.lastname@example.org or (612) 626-1720; or Tessa Eagan, College of Liberal Arts, email@example.com or (612) 625-3781.
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