Ramadan, the holiest month of Islam, begins on Saturday evening, April 2, in the United States. Eid al-Fitr ends on Monday, May 2nd.

Here’s what you need to know about its significance, how Muslims follow the moon and how non-Muslims can wish their friends and neighbors “Ramadan Mubarak”.

What is Ramadan and why is it important?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is marked by fasting, meditation, charity and prayer.

It is believed that at this time the first verses of the Holy Scriptures of Islam – the Qur’an – were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

Is Ramadan the same time every year?

Ramadan is based on a lunar calendar consisting of a 12-month year with approximately 354 days. This means that each month moves 11 days in the Gregorian calendar, which is performed by the United States.

How do Muslims celebrate Ramadan?

More than 2 billion Muslims worldwide will fast with food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk every day of the month, said Husam Ailush, executive director of the Greater Los Angeles Council’s Office of American Affairs. -Islamic relations.

Fasting is mandatory for Muslims, except the sick, pregnant, traveling, elderly and / or menstrual, according to National Geographic.

These periods of fasting can range from 11 to 16 hours a day. Before the start of each day, Muslims start with a pre-dawn meal called dryand then start fajr, the first prayer of the day, according to NatGeo. At dusk, after the end of Western prayer, or MaghrebMuslims celebrate a meal known as iftar. This means “breaking the fast,” and meals are often shared with family and friends.

This ritual of daily fasting gives Muslims a period of spiritual contemplation, Aylush said.

“I hope that the lack of food and drink during the day creates a kind of empathy in us when we feel very grateful for the blessing we receive from God … and the way to express gratitude too is to be responsive to those who have fewer of these privileges. , “he said.

Muslims will also avoid negative actions such as gossip, lies and controversy for a month.

How do Muslims give charity during Ramadan?

Charity is a very important practice in Islam. During Ramadan, Muslims often organize rallies or fundraisers to help the less fortunate.

What other rituals do Muslims perform during Ramadan?

Many Muslims will perform additional prayer at night during Ramadan taravih. They will also celebrate Leylat al-Qadr later this month, a day as many believe the Qur’an was first revealed.

How can non-Muslims greet their Muslim friends and neighbors during Ramadan?

“Non-Muslims can wish Muslims ‘Ramadan Mubarak,’ which means ‘blessed Ramadan,'” Aylush said.

They may say, “Happy Ramadan,” “Happy Ramadan.” Anything you can say would be very grateful to your neighbors, ”he added.

When Ramadan is over, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, or “Festival of Cessation of Lent”. During this holiday, children receive gifts from family and friends. Muslims can also recite a special prayer during the morning festival of Eid and then a communal holiday with food and games.

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