Jamia Masjid Bilal

Ramadhan 2016

Ramadhan (also known as Ramadan or Ramzan) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims in the United Kingdom. The first verses of the Koran (Qu’ran) were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (also written as Mohammad or Muhammed) during the last third of Ramadan, making this an especially holy period.

What do people do?

Many Muslims in the United Kingdom fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadhan. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. It is common to have one meal known as the suhoor just before sunrise and an evening meal (iftar) after sunset during Ramadan. The United Kingdom’s Department of Health produced a guide to healthy fasting during Ramadhan, which aims to help people avoid health complications when they fast.

Ramadhan is also a time for many Muslims to donate to charity by participating in food drives for the poor, organizing a collection or charity event, and other voluntary activities. Muslims are encouraged to be charitable during Ramadhan. Campaigns have been promoted in the United Kingdom to raise public awareness of safe ways to donate to charity and how to avoid donating to fake charities during Ramadhan. These campaigns aim to help people choose an honest charity organization when donating money and equipment.

People of Islamic faith are encouraged to read the entire Qur’an during Ramadhan. Some Muslims recite the entire Qur’an by the end of Ramadhan through special prayers known as Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a section of the Qur’an is recited. Ramadhan Qu’ran competitions have been held for both children and adults in the United Kingdom in recent times.

Some political leaders in the United Kingdom, including the prime minister, previously made public announcements, greeting Muslims both locally and globally for the month of Ramadhan. Their messages aim to help raise an awareness of the Ramadhan’s importance among Muslims both in the United Kingdom and throughout the world.

Public life

Many Islamic businesses and organizations may amend opening hours to suit prayer times during Ramadan in the United Kingdom. There may also be some congestion around mosques during prayer times, such as in the evenings.

Background

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which consists of 12 months and lasts for about 354 days. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of food and drink. It is considered to be the most holy and blessed month. Fighting is not allowed during this period.

The month of Ramadhan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting, marking the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Many Muslims (except children, the sick and the elderly) abstain from food, drink, and certain other activities during daylight hours in Ramadan. This is considered as the holiest season in the Islamic year and commemorates the time when the Qu’ran (Islamic holy book) is said to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This occurred on Laylat Al-Qadr, one of the last 10 nights of the month.  Ramadhan ends when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted again, marking the new lunar month’s start. Eid-al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadhan.

Ramadhan Observances

Note: Regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen.

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