Ramadan 2017

2017-05-31 06:02

THE holy month of Ramadan began on May 27 with the sighting of the first crescent of the new moon.

Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world, being a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control.

Fasting requires abstinence from eating, drinking, from the breaking of dawn to the setting of the sun. The usual practice is to have a pre-fast meal before dawn and a meal to break the fast after sunset.

Fasting in Ramadan is obligatory for those who can - chronically ill, mentally challenged, and elderly who are physically weak are exempt from fasting.

Long-distance travellers, those who are experiencing mild and serious illness, as well as women who are pregnant, breast-feeding or menstruating are exempt from the fast, however, they must make up missed days after the month of Ramadan. Since Ramadan is a special time, Muslims in many parts of the world prepare favourite foods during this month.

As Ramadan emphasises the importance of community and because all break their fasts at the same time, they often invite one another to share in the Ramadan evening meal.

Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar.

This difference means Ramadan moves ahead in the Gregorian calendar by approximately 11 days every year.

The date of Ramadan may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.

The duration of the daily fast depends on the number of hours between sunrise and sunset, which is affected by which season in which Ramadan falls.

During summer months, those observing the month of Ramadan have to fast longer hours due to the longer days. Traditional greetings “Ramadan Kareem” (noble, or generous Ramadan), “Ramadan Mubarak” (blessed Ramadan)

Ramadan month ends with Eid al-Fitr - the Festival of Fast-Breaking.


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