|What is Ramadan?|
Ramadan is considered the holiest month of the year for Muslims. In Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an, and abstain from food and water during the sunlight hours as a means of drawing closer to God and cultivating self-control, gratitude, and compassion for those who are less fortunate. Ramadan is a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation with a heightened focus on devotion, during which Muslims spend extra time reading the Qur’an and performing special prayers. Those unable to fast, such as pregnant or nursing women, the sick, or elderly people and children, are exempt from fasting.
|When is Ramadan?|
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on a 12-month lunar year of approximately 354 days. Because the lunar year is 11 days shorter than the solar year, each lunar month moves 11 days earlier each year. The month traditionally begins, and ends based on the sighting of the new moon. Starting on April 11th, Muslims throughout the United States and the rest of the world will begin to search the sky for the new crescent, or in some cases, they will follow a pre-determined date based on astronomical calculation. In 2021, the month long fast of Ramadan begins around April 13th and ends around May 12th.
How is Ramadan observed?
Ramadan is a month of fasting; observing Muslims do not eat or drink from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan. Muslims also commemorate Ramadan by reading the Quran, praying, and doing good deeds. Ramadan culminates in a three-day festival called Eid-al-Fitr, which literally means “the feast of the breaking”. This is a joyous event, marked by the preparation of elaborate meals and the exchange of gifts.
Iftar is name for the evening meal with which Muslims break their fast. It is the time everybody get together and enjoy a feast.
Sahoor is the pre-dawn breakfast Muslims eat before the day’s fast begins. This meal is important for fasters to have sufficient energy for the rest of the day.
It is also a meal that is filled with blessings.
Terawih is a highly encouraged night prayer that is special for Ramadan. Muslims can perform this prayer individually or in congregation.
Greetings in Ramadan
The typical greeting at the start of Ramadan is “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Blessed Ramadan.” At the end of Ramadan greeting is “Eid Mubarak” or “Blessed Eid”.