Ramadhan in Brazil
Brazil is a South American country where Christianity is the dominant religion. But there is also a small Muslim minority living in the country.
The Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil estimates there are about 1.5 million Muslims in the world’s fifth-largest country by both area and population.
Islam in Brazil is said to have first been practiced by African slaves brought from West Africa. Scholars note that Brazil received more enslaved Muslims than anywhere else in the Americas.
In Brazilian cities where there is a Muslim community, mosques play an important role in enhancing fraternity and solidarity among Muslims.
This is more so during the holy month of Ramadhan when mosques host special programs all over the Islamic world.
In Ramadhan, mosques and Islamic centers in cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro try to do their best to serve Muslims.
Among their special programs in the holy month are Qur’an reading sessions, sometimes held with the participation of Qaris from different Islamic countries.
They also host Iftar (fast-breaking) functions for fasting Muslims every evening.
According to Sheikh Sadeq Othmani, secretary of Brazil’s Council of Imams and Islamic Affairs, Muslims and Islamic centers also spend more time in charity activities in Ramadhan.
He says Muslims’ social activities in Brazil have helped to improve their image in society so that they are now a respected community in the country.
He noted that this year, Michel Teme, Brazil’s acting president, hosted an Iftar ceremony held with the participation of diplomats from Islamic countries and representatives of Brazilian Islamic bodies.
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