Ramadan 1440 H (2019)
A post from the Missionaries of Africa
6 May 2019
Who among you sees the new moon appear will fast the whole month.
(Koran, 2 -The Cow-185)
The obligation of fasting is one of the major expressions of Muslim belief. Whoever fasts detaches from food, need for which seems to go without saying. He thus brings into his lived experience the conviction that it is not his to own, but something given to him. He emphasises that there is another dimension to human life than basic needs. Fasting reveals the fundamental relativity of man in relation to God and the ensuing obligation to give thanks.
For the whole of the month of Ramadan, the Muslim neither eats nor drinks from sunrise to sunset. The pace of work is slowed and the daily timetable is completely disrupted. The whole family gathers at sunset to break their fast and they go out for part of the night.
Clearly it is very difficult to sustain such a pace in Europe. As society at large does not provide for this practice, the Muslim will look for support in family and neighbourhood reunions for ‘the celebration of the nights of Ramadan.’
The greatest charity is the one accomplished in Ramadan. (Anthology of Tirmidy)
During this month, the Muslim pays a tenth of what he owns in solidarity, ((Zakat). This ‘legal almsgiving’ is one of the pillars of Islam.
How is the date of the first day of Ramadan determined?
Ramadan is indicated by one of the following events:
1 – When the number of days in the month of Shaban, preceding Ramadan, reaches 30 days. The 31st is incontestably the first of Ramadan.
2 – When the new moon is visible on the eve of the 30th Shaban, it is the beginning of Ramadan and the fast must begin.
There is therefore a degree of uncertainty concerning the exact date, depending on the region. It underscores the relative nature of human certainties.
Let us try to understand others who differ in the expression of their beliefs and in kindness let us make this fundamental expression of their way of life easy for them. Uniting our thanksgiving with the prayer of other believers would be a sign that we are all children of the same God.
To see also:
1st October 2008 End of Ramadan Fête de l’Aïd El Fitr
Aïd el Kabîr 2007
* The Moon, the Calendar of Muslim Feasts.
* ISLAM and its MOVEMENTS
* Holy Day of the Sacrifice: Aïd al Adha or Aïd el Kébir
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