Two Men Try For 30 Mosques In 30 Days
Two local Muslims are on a quest to attend a different mosque in the city every night of Ramadan, the month-long holiday which wraps up next week. NY1's Ty Chandler filed the following report.
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In Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq's journey to go to 30 mosques in 30 days they've managed to make a few new friends.
"We're going into places, we've never met these people before, we are complete strangers, but they make us feel welcome," said Ali.
The Mosque of the Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem is their 23rd stop. Each visit brings them new experiences and closer to the nearly one-million Muslims in New York City.
"Sometimes we're the only one's that are South Asian, and the place will be all Indonesian or all African American, and we'll walk in and everyone will be very happy," Tariq said.
The two friends started to blog about the project. They take pictures and write about each mosque they visit. Their website has really caught on, but Tariq's mother was not so sure it was a good idea.
"She was like, be careful, the FBI is going to follow you," said Tariq. "I said, 'don't worry, mom. Things have changed. We have a black president now. Things are going to get better.'"
And after nearly 14 hours of daily fasting, they say few things are better than praying and eating with new brothers.
"It makes us appreciate our community, our faith, and our people even more," said Ali.
"It's very easy to get caught up in your own comfort zone, thinking I don't want to go to Queens because I'm from Brooklyn," said Yusef Abdul-Jaleel of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood. "But for them to do what they did, I think they will have imitators real soon."
Ali and Tariq say they are looking for some time away from each other when Ramadan ends next week.
"I've seen a lot of Aman, it's a little much," said Tariq.
"I have to see this kid everyday, it's a bit much," added Ali.
The two men say this will be a one-time project as traveling from mosque to mosque is tough while trying to hold down a full-time job. But their blog has turned them to the Zagat surveyors of the Islamic community, with friends and even strangers looking to them to find out what different mosques are like.