In an unsuspecting strip of offices near the corner of Williamson and Brawley School roads, next to an accounting firm and counseling center, two office suites house the Islamic Center of Lake Norman.
Suite 405 is for women. Suite 408 is for men.
Here, Muslims in Lake Norman will gather for extra services during the month of Ramadan, which runs July 9 through Aug. 7.
The Islamic Center in Mooresville began in April 2012. The offices are called a musallah, a place of prayer that is not consecrated because it is a rented facility. The group belongs to the Sunni sect, which is the orthodox and largest sect of Islam. People of Indian and Pakistani decent comprise the majority of the group.
In another non-descript location, a white house on Hambright Road in Huntersville, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will also gather for Ramadan. The group had hoped to build a mosque on that site, but zoning laws prevented it. The property is now for sale, and the group is searching for another site that will allow a mosque.
Ahmadiyya is a reformist movement in Islam that began in the 1800s. Followers believe that a messiah figure came in the person of Mizra Ghulam Ahmad. The group promotes peace, not “jihad by the sword.”
Whatever branch, Muslims observe Ramadan by abstaining from food, drink and sex from dawn to sunset for the entire month.
During Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, Muslims also gather for Taraweh, special evening prayers and readings from the Qur’an. At the end of Ramadan in August, they gather for a feast called "Eid al Fitr."