We would like to wish all our residents who follow the Islamic faith a happy Ramadan.
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims, and most of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims will observe it in some form.
This year, Ramadan is expected to begin at sunset on Wednesday 22 March and expected to end on Friday 21 April. The exact timing of Ramadan is based on the sighting of the moon and falls in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar year.
Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar, and during this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Muslims will also abstain from liquids and smoking during this time.
It is a month of reflection, generosity and charity.
Fasting is encouraged to strengthen discipline in faith and to dedicate more time to prayer and family. It also builds empathy for those who go without. Fasting is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.
Muslims are encouraged to give Zakat (charity) in Ramadan, which is another of the 5 pillars of Islam. This encourages Muslims to give a proportion of their savings to someone in need, if they are in a position to do so.
Fasting for the month also has a number of positive health benefits. It is said to allow the body to repair and detox for the rest of the year. So, this is considered both a physical and spiritual detox.
There are exemptions to fasting such as health reasons, young children, older people.
Sometimes, through necessity, Muslims are unable to fast. In such cases, they would pay a Fidya. This is a charity donation to provide those in need with a nutritious meal.
Some Muslims may choose not to fast, this is a personal choice. No one should have to justify their reasons for not fasting.
Eid ul Fitr
The end of Ramadan is marked by a celebration called Eid ul Fitr.
This is one of the major celebrations in the Islamic calendar and a time where families and communities come together.
This year Eid ul Fitr will be Friday 21 April. This depends on the sighting of the moon.
If you want to wish someone a happy Eid, the greeting is ‘Eid Mubarak.’
The NHS Muslim Network is running a Zakat workshop via Teams. This is on Monday, 3 April between 5pm and 6pm.