They were about to break their Ramadan fast. But first, they fed others.
As the sun set over downtown D.C. Wednesday during Ramadan’s final week, members of a nearby mosque gathered around trays of chicken and rice, ready to break their daylong fast. But though their tummies were rumbling, they decided to feed the homeless first.
“Any barriers between us and you, we can remove them!” Ieasha Prime, wearing a multicolored hijab, preached as a few dozen people lined up to fill containers with food.
Prime, who worships at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, in Northern Virginia, was one of a group of Muslims reaching out to the community at this public iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims at the close of each day during Ramadan.
During a week in which suicide bombers possibly linked to the Islamic State attacked an airport in Istanbul, in the same month a man inspired by ISIS killed 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, outreach was important.
“The masses are being blamed for the behavior of the few,” Prime said. “… It’s important that we just not fast in our community.”