Ramadan is a very important time in the Islamic calendar, and Muslims all over the world will take part. This year Ramadan starts this evening (22nd March) and lasts until the evening of 21 April.
Our library has a display area (in the photo) featuring interesting information about Ramadan where the students can come to find out and understand more about this religious time in the Muslim calendar.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast – they won’t eat or drink between dawn and sunset. Fasting is important during Ramadan as it allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and come closer to Allah, or God. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends. Normally, people will make a special effort to connect with their communities and reach out to people who need help.
It is common to have a meal (known as the suhoor) just before dawn and another (known as the iftar) directly after sunset. At the end of the fast – when the sun has gone down – usually, families and friends will get together for iftar to break their fast. (although during covid restrictions celebrations will have to be via zoom / within bubbles)
Many Muslims also usually go to the mosque to pray, when lockdown restrictions aren’t in place. Some mosques have been holding virtual services online for people to watch together.
Ramadan falls during this month because this is when the holy book that’s followed by Muslims, called the Qur’an, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, but the date changes each year. This is because Islam uses the lunar calendar (based on the cycles of the Moon), so it isn’t a fixed date in the Western/solar calendar.
There is a special festival to mark the end of Ramadan when they will feast and celebrate! This is called Eid al-Fitr – the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. It begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. Muslims will not only celebrate the end of fasting, but will also thank Allah for the help and strength that they were given throughout the previous month.