Maple Grove Resident Shows Commitment During Ramadan
Ramadan is a month of compassion, renewal, community service and forgiveness. Fasting during the holy month is one of the five pillars of Islam. But for a Maple Grove man, fulfilling the requirements can be challenging.
Amara Kamara is a personal trainer and works out of the North Loop gym in Minneapolis. The Maple Grove resident has helped people, including professional athletes to get in shape. During the month of Ramadan, he works on strengthening his personal relationship with Allah.
“It’s a very peaceful religion,” says Kamara.
Being a trainer can be difficult during the holy month because Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset.
“The sun doesn’t come down in the Midwest until about 8:50 p.m. Every day until Ramadan comes to an end, the time is going to keep increasing,” says Kamara. “We’re going to come closer to 9 o’clock until you break fast.”
The top trainer also has to stay in shape and doesn’t skip working out during the holy month.
“I put myself into the zone of getting ready to exercise and getting excited to workout regardless of if I have coffee or not, because this is something that I feel like is bringing me closer to God,” says Kamara.
He limits his workouts to the evening, near sundown, when he can break fast.
“I try to stay away from things that would dehydrate me,” Kamara explains.
But he doesn’t mind giving up food, water and other things. He says there’s a purpose behind the sacrifices and suffering—to feel what the unfortunate feel. Kamara says it makes him appreciate what he has, even more. During this time period, Muslims aren’t supposed to be intimate and are expected to avoid impure thoughts.
Prayer and reflection
He leaves the gym several times a day to pray at Masijid Al-Ansar Community Center in Brooklyn Center. During the last 10 days of the month, Muslims increase their prayers, some sleep at the mosque, and some pray around the clock for grace and God’s mercy.
Ramadan is expected to end the evening of June 14th. However, it could take place on June 15th, depending on the sighting of the crescent moon. At the end of Ramadan, a three day festival takes place–Eid al-Fitr, which means “festival of breaking the fast.” Family and friends get together and share a big meal and children sometimes receive gifts from their parents and grandparents.
The day after Ramadan, Muslims attend a special prayer service. Many people in the northwest metro are expected to worship at Brooklyn Middle School, at 9 a.m.