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  Respectful Communities > Interfaith Programming > Taking Heart > What to Expect at the Mosque

Taking Heart Iftar DinnersWhat to Expect at the Mosque

If you choose to participate in an Iftar at a mosque, the meal usually takes place in one of the common areas (versus, for instance, a prayer space). You will hear Muslims greeting each other with "As-Salamu Alaykum" ("Peace be unto you"). In reply, you will hear the standard response, "Walaykum Salaam" ("And unto you peace"). Some Muslims do not shake hands with people from the opposite gender. Please do not be offended if that happens. Just say hello and nod your head in greeting.

Iftar Giving Thanks

The Iftar Program

  • All will gather to hear a short presentation about Ramadan. Feel free to ask questions of your hosts. The Iftar is an open house and an opportunity for you to learn about and get to know your Muslim neighbors.
  • Breaking the fast. The fast is broken with a light snack of dates and water or milk. Please feel free to help yourself.
  • Maghribthe sunset prayer. Muslims pray five times per day. One prayer time is at sunset, so immediately following the dates and water, Muslims move to the prayer space for sunset (maghrib) prayer. You are welcome to enter the prayer space to observe, but please do not walk in front of anyone who is praying: stand or sit quietly in the back until the prayer is completed. Also, there are sometimes separate entrances for men and women, so be on the watch for this. Maghrib prayer takes about 10 minutes.

Prayer service at Iftar

  • Shared meal (Iftar). After prayer, participants move back into the gathering space to share the meal. Come hungry! And be sure to sit with people from the mosque, so you can share conversation with them during the meal.

A Note on Dress

Please dress modestly. Both men and women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders, upper arms, and knees. Women who choose to observe the sunset prayer, maghrib, should cover their heads with a scarf before entering the prayer space.

SPECIAL NOTE: For anyone who decides to enter the prayer space for maghrib, PLEASE REMOVE YOUR SHOES. There will be racks for the shoes.

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