What to Know About Ramadan

Happy Ramadan from the ISV Magazine team! Know the facts about this holiday and share your experiences with us.

Dates for Ramadan

  • Ramadan shifts about 11 days each year because the lunar calendar doesn’t match the solar calendar.
  • Ramadan 2013 was set to start the night of July 8 with the first full today of fasting on July 9.  Some Muslims will start fasting on different days this year because everyone is in different locations and it depends on when they seen the moon.
  • Ramadan ends by the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which can be either 29 or 30 days after the beginning of the month. The day begins with morning prayers and then a celebration!

History of Ramadan

  • This holiday is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar.
  • “Ramadan” literally means “scorching” in Arabic.
  • It was created as a Holy Month for Muslims after the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
  • The goal is to purify oneself from thoughts and deeds. By taking away material desires, one is able to fully focus and devote oneself to God.
Share your Ramadan story with us!

How do Muslims Celebrate Ramadan?

  • During the month, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise they have a “predawn meal”. At sunset, family and friends gather for Iftar, which is a meal to break the fast. Many eat dates at this time because that’s what the Prophet used to eat.
  • Some people do not fast for the holiday, such as pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, people who are seriously sick, travelers, or those at a health risk. Children who haven’t gone through puberty are not required to fast.
  • Charity is very important for this holiday. The hunger from fasting makes one grow empathy with those who go hungry. Muslim communities raise money for the poor, donate clothes and food, and have iftar dinners for the less fortunate.
  • Many Muslims take the time to read the entire Quran or at least read it daily during Ramadan.

I Am Not Muslim, Can I Still Participate?

  • Of course! Many non-Muslims celebrate and fast with friends or family members. Many are also invited to attend prayer and iftar dinners.

How to Greet Someone Celebrating Ramadan

  • Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem” which mean “Have a blessed or generous Ramadan.”

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