For The First Time Ever, Times Square Hosted Taraweeh Prayers

On Saturday, Times Square in New York City hosted the first Taraweeh prayer. Several members of the Muslim community, on the other hand, have expressed concern about the event being held in a busy location with an abundance of flashy posters.

Middle East Eye (MEE) spoke with the event’s organizer, who requested to be identified only as SQ. He expressed the hope that the spectacle of congregational prayers will encourage non-Muslims in their quest to understand more about Islam.

SQ has over 152,000 Instagram followers and nearly 400,000 YouTube subscribers.

“Allah instructed me to host a dawah event that will not only unite Muslims but also teach non-Muslims about Ramadan, why we fast and ultimately educate people about Islam,” he SQ.

On Saturday, hundreds of Muslims gathered in Times Square to celebrate the start of Ramadan and the first day of Taraweeh prayers.

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However, several Muslim New Yorkers expressed reservations about the location’s suitability for religious gatherings, arguing that prayers held in the face of massive billboards frequently featuring scantily dressed models would not bridge the divide between Muslims and the broader community.

Muslims in New York City express their concerns.

“Taraweeh is meant to be a personal form of worship. I’m not sure why this has to take place in Times Square. Have you taken notice of the billboards?” A Queens resident informed MEE.

“I was down there with my in-laws yesterday. On the screens, people are virtually naked. What message are we giving to non-Muslims when we worship beneath that?”

“Are they going to completely silence Times Square, the loudest location on Earth, with loud music playing everywhere, while they recite Allah’s most beautiful words?” “Good luck with that,” a Brooklyn resident observed.

Another citizen informed MEE that the funds raised by SQ could have been used to feed the city’s homeless or other disadvantaged groups. “I’m sure he earns a fortune as a YouTuber. However, he could utilize it to feed 1,000 people. He may donate to one of the food pantries. Everything does not have to be dazzling.”

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