Ramadan 2021 - A message from the multifaith network

Ramadan 2021

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar. Healthy adult Muslims fast in Ramadan from dawn until dusk. This includes abstaining from drinking, eating, immoral acts and anger. Other acts of worship such as prayer, reading the Quran and charity are also encouraged during the holy month.

Muslims also believe the Quran was revealed in Ramadan. During the holy month, Muslims wake up early to eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and they break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar.

It is common for mosques to host large iftars, especially for the poor and needy. Nightly prayers called Tarawih are also held in mosques after iftar. However, this year Ramadan will most certainly be a less festive time, amid the coronavirus pandemic as all should take precautions to curb the spread of the virus by banning or limiting social gatherings and closing mosques.

When is Ramadan and How long is Ramadan?

Since Ramadan is part of the lunar calendar, its date annually changes on the Gregorian calendar. Muslims tend to wait for the new month’s moon to appear before they announce the first day of Ramadan. However, they can still estimate the day beforehand.

This year Ramadan begins on 12th or 13th April.

Lunar months last between 29 to 30 days depending on when the new moon is sighted. If the moon is not seen on the night of the 29th day, then Ramadan lasts for the full 30 days.

Why Do Muslims Fast during Ramadan?

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. There is also a verse in the Quran that prescribes fasting for all Muslims who are mature and healthy enough to do so for the full day. So Muslims fast as an act of worship, a chance to get closer to God, and a way to become more compassionate to those in need. Fasting is also seen to learn patience and break bad habits.

Does Everybody Fast?

Not everybody fasts during Ramadan.  Children, Pregnant women, the elderly, and those who are ill, or who are travelling do not have to fast.

What happens at the end of Ramadan?

There is a special festival to mark the end of Ramadan. This is called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking of the Fast) which is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide. 

 Published 9th April 2021