Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. This year Ramadan will begin on May 6 and conclude on June 4. It is a period of prayer, fasting (sawm), charity-giving, and self-accountability for Muslims. Considered to be the most holy and blessed month in the calendar, Ramadan can have a great impact on the Muslim community.
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. It is common to have one meal known as the suhoor just before sunrise and an evening meal, iftar, after sunset. During daylight hours, participants abstain from food and drink. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word, ramida, which means scorching heat or dryness. Not all Muslims fast during the month. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, the sick, and travelers may not participate.
Fasting is done:
· As an obligatory act of worship, a pillar of Islam stated in the Qur’an.
· To help Muslims connect to and better understand the experiences of the less fortunate and underprivileged.
· To connect to a sense of willpower and self-control of natural urges.
· To purify the body and soul through connection to humanity, community, and spirituality.
Ramadan concludes with “Eid ul-Fitr” (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) when the first crescent of the new moon is seen again. Muslims attend a special congregational service for prayer and obligatory contributions to charity for the poor. At the conclusion of services, they rise and greet one another with, “Eid Mubarak” which means “Holiday Blessings.” Furthering the sense of community, families then visit one another for meals.
(shared by the Diversity Committee, Residence Life, Housing and Dining Services)