Your Basic Guide to Ramadan

Ramadan starts next week! Millions of Muslims all over the world celebrate the month of fasting with friends and family, so here are 10 things you should know about Ramadan:

 

1. Ramadan is the name of an Arabic month. It happens only once a year. 

2. Islam follows the Lunar Calendar. That is why sometimes the month is shorter than 30 days (29 days) or sometimes longer (31 days). But it is usually 30 days. 

3. Also called the “month of fasting,” Muslims all around the world fast from sunrise to sunset: meaning that we don’t eat anything (not even water) from Fazr (morning prayer) to Maghrib (evening prayer). This year the fast will last about 16 hours. 

4. We do, however, have a set time to eat before the Fazr prayer called the Sehri. Families all around the world get up together and eat together before the morning prayer. At the end of the fast, at Maghrib prayer, we have Iftar, which is when we break our fast and eat. 

5. Ramadan is mainly a month of self-discipline and empathy. It is the event of fasting, which is one of the five pillar of Islams. We fast all day to understand the pain of people who have less than us which increases actions of generosity and self-reflection. One thing that I always realize in Ramadan is to be grateful for everything I have and cherish those around me. 

6. No matter your religion, you can always wish us “Happy Ramadan” or “Ramadan Mubarak.” It always makes our day!

7. Though our physical and mental energy is much less compared to non-Ramadan times, we don’t expect special treatment. However, please do be considerate of meeting times during Iftar or prayer times. 

8. Ramadan is divided into three stages; the first 10 days are known as Rehmah (Mercy of Allah), the second 10 days are known as Maghfirah (Forgiveness of Allah) and the last 10 days are known as Nijat (Safety from Hell).

9. After the end of Ramadan, we celebrate the first day of the new month, Shawwal, also known as Eid-ul-Fitr. The greeting for that is "Eid Mubarak."

10. We are always more than happy to answer questions about Ramadan. So always feel free to ask!

 

This is the second Ramadan during the COVID-19 pandemic; it is very hard on people since they cannot visit their families and friends and enjoy Sehri or Iftar together. Do be considerate of your Muslim friends’ and colleagues’ feelings. Check on them frequently and if possible try to join them for Iftar. Trust me, it will make their entire day!

 

Ramadan Mubarak to all!