“The goal is to better connect with God and strengthen your spirituality and soul,” explained Imam Amr Dabour of the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims (SALAM). “By fasting, we highlight spiritualities, we highlight the needs of our soul rather than the needs of our body.”
The SALAM Islamic Center is now open for indoor worship, but continues to maintain public health guidelines for its members. Temperature checks are required at the door, as is social distancing and face masks. Capacity is limited, and each worshipper must provide and use their own prayer mat.
“This is a special month for Muslim community to show Sacramento community how peaceful this religion is,” said congregant Hesham Alaini. “It’s not what hear in the media or the movies, it’s not what some individuals do.”
Fasting is a part of Ramadan tradition. Meaning nothing can enter the body between sunrise and sunset — raising the question of whether getting the COVID-19 vaccine for the community could be delayed.
“The vaccine is 100% OK to take, even while fasting,” said Imam Dabour, joining other religious leaders of the Muslim faith, in supporting congregants to get vaccinated.
“It’s all about nutrition. Vaccine is not nutrition, it does not qualify,” Imam Dabour said.
He added most of his congregants have already taken steps to get their shots.
“Yes, I did the first one the last two weeks, and I have another one tomorrow,” said Sidali Mesloup, a loyal congregant for fifteen years.
“We should be more encouraged to take the vaccines since we want to come in and do the prayers and there will be gathering,” added Alaini, “So it’s our responsibility to take our part.”
SALAM Islamic Center hosts virtual services every night at 9:15 on its Facebook, YouTube