Service members and their families came together to share a meal in celebration of Ramadan on Marine Corps Air Station New River, June 1.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims traditionally fast from sun up to sunset for 29 to 30 days. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and making the holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

Ramadan is significant because the Holy Quran (Holy Scripture for Islamic faith) was revealed during this time. Ramadan strengthens discipline against temptation for Muslims and helps them resist wrongful desires.

“The month of Ramadan is one of the holiest months in the Islamic faith,” said Lance Cpl. Aadil Masra, Islamic lay leader, Marine Corps Installations East. “Muslims must keep abstinence from all foods and liquids throughout the day for a month while engaging in activities that elevate them spiritually by charity, acts of kindness, praying and other means.”

According to Masra, fasting also helps gain nearness to God by obeying his command and going through the rigors of fasting purely for his sake. This makes them conscious of God in their everyday life knowing that God is seeing all of the hardships they go through and bestows love upon them.

The Iftar meal, following sundown, is when Muslims break their fast for the day during Ramadan. Those in attendance broke the fast with water and dates. After prayer and worship, they gathered together to eat.

“In this holy month, the Islamic community has put together a dinner where after a very long day of fasting, we will break bread with our brothers and sisters, as a family, no matter what faith,” Masra said. “This is to show the unity and love the Islamic faith shares for their neighbors and the community these Muslim Marines and Sailors serve.”