South Mississippi Muslims Observe Ramadan

Muslims around the world are in the midst of 30 days of intense prayer and reflection. South Mississippi's devout say Ramadan is one of the pillars of their faith. Muslims say Ramadan is all about self control, something they hope to find through praying, fasting, and avoiding temptation and sin.

Aftab Anwar said the instructions are simple. "Don't tell lies. Don't get angry. Don't think bad. Don't hate anybody. Don't steal. "

Ramadan lasts for only one month, but the faithful believe its lessons will carry on throughout the year. For 30 days, the Biloxi Islamic Center is doing a complete teaching of the Koran.

"The book of Koran is not only a book of worship," said Anwar." It's also tells us how to live in a society, guidelines for human beings. It tells us how to relate with God."

Ramadan's other message is about helping the less fortunate. This weekend, local Muslims will give away food and clothes. They're also donating to the Center For The Prevention Of Child Abuse.

Sabree Rashid said, "This is what God has command us to do. It's not just Muslims, Christians and Jews also have that same obligation. And we hope that what we're doing will be contagious and other faiths will also take note that, 'Hey this little small Islamic community is doing this, then we can do it too.'"

Once a week, local Muslims get together at the mosque to pray together for what's called "Jumuah." They also pray five times a day in their homes.

Aftab Anwar said, "Together we learn more, rather than doing it individually. We learn from each other, learn from the book, learn from the people that are more knowledgeable than you are."

The Biloxi Islamic Center will hold its food and clothing giveaway this Sunday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at its Keller Avenue location. Ramadan ends October 13th.