The Muslim Community Association in Santa Clara is one of the largest mosque and community centers in the Bay Area. During this year's Ramadan, they opened their doors to non-Muslims to explain the traditions of the holy month.
Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims, marking the month when the God revealed the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed. Throughout the month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, as well as abstaining from things like swearing, gossiping and sexual activity.
During one Saturday during this year's Ramadan, the halls of MCA are filled with men, women and children of every ethnicity who speak dozens of languages. It’s a reminder that Islam, the second largest religion in the world, is practiced by nearly 2 billion people. The MCA has about 700 members, but during Friday prayers and especially during Ramadan, thousands go there to worship.
Lubna Shaikh, outreach secretary for MCA, says the open house events began after 9/11 and has grown in popularity ever since. She says there are many questions about Islam that are driven by fear or lack of knowledge.
She says because of that, it's more critical than ever to share with non-Muslims what Ramadan is all about.