A sermon inside Stockholm grand mosque

Yehia Abu-Zakaria, IOL Sweden Correspondent

STOCKHOLM, November 15 (IslamOnline) – The advent of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan coincided this year with snow storms and intensive snow-fall in almost all towns and provinces of Sweden.

For about six months, Sweden will not see the sun and will be wrapped up in dark and cold.

This extreme cold has not, however, deterred Muslims from flocking to Stockholm grand mosque and other mosques across the country, more frequented in Ramadan, for the extensive Taraweeh prayers.

The prayers are usually preceded by a sermon on how Muslims should raise their children.

In some mosques, Muslim worshippers join together in reciting the holy Qura’n.

Fast-breaking banquets are also a usual scene inside mosques in Ramadan, where Swedish Muslims, who came from the four corners of the universe, try to break their isolation by sticking to traditional Ramadan festivities in their original countries.

Despite the freezing cold, fathers often take their children along to the mosques to help them enjoy the spirituality of the holy month.

The number of Muslim children yearning to join elders in the spiritual fasting experience is on the rise.

It has become common for Swedish teachers to ask about religious rulings on a Muslim taking a shower while fasting. Showering after sports exercises is compulsory in Swedish schools.

With Taraweeh prayers in the evening, Swedish mosques are busy during daytime with lessons in the holy Qura’n and subjects of Islamic jurisprudence.

After the end of Ramadan, the Stockholm grand mosque plans a two-day conference on Muslims in the West.

A host of leading figures in the Arab and Islamic worlds, along with Muslims from Sweden and other European countries, are expected to turn out for the conference.