Time to cleanse the soul by freeing it from impurities

2016-06-02 06:00

This year, Ramadan begins at sundown on Tuesday, June 7 and ends at sundown on Thursday, July 7, with Eid al-Fitr, or the breaking of the Ramadan fast.

How do Muslims observe Ramadan?

Ramadan is the most blessed and holy month of the Islamic calendar which consists of 12 months of 354 days.

The month begins with the sighting of the new moon.

Adult Muslims are required to fast from dawn until dusk every day throughout Ramadan.

Those who are ill, elderly, diabetic, pregnant, menstruating, or breastfeeding are not required to fast.

Children are not required to fast unless they have reached puberty, although many still do out of choice.

In addition to abstaining from eating, drinking, and smoking, Muslims also refrain from sexual relations as well as sinful speech and behaviour.

During Ramadan, Muslims pray every night for 30 days, reciting different chapters each day until the Quran is completed by Eid Al Fitr.

This is called the Taraweeh prayer, which is recited after Isha prayers in mid-evening.

Why fasting?

Fasting redirects the heart away from distractions, with its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from impurities.

Ramadan is also a time for Muslims to practise self-discipline, sacrifice, and empathy for those less fortunate. It encourages generosity and charity.

When do Muslims break their fast?

Fast may be broken at sunset before Maghrib prayers after ‘Azaan’ (call for prayers). This occurs just after sunset.

Dates are traditionally the first food to be eaten each evening. The fast-breaking meal is called Iftar.

When does fasting start?

Each morning before sunrise, Muslims engage in a pre-fast meal called Suhoor. Afterwards they begin the Fajr prayers.

When does Ramadan end?

Ramadan ends after 29 or 30 days.

  • Eid Al Fitr is the annual three-day celebration after the last day of Ramadan and it is considered a public holiday.

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