April 29, 2020
Another Ramadan is upon us and Muslims all over the world will begin a month of fasting. The beginning of this holy month is subject to the sighting of the first crescent of the new moon and will continue for the next 29 or 30 days till the sighting of the new moon. This year, the new moon has been sighted and fasting officially began on Friday, April 24, 2020. Fasting lasts for 30 day and ends with a celebration called Eid al-Fitr.
During the month Muslims fast from sunrise, abstaining from food and drink until sunset. Muslims increase their good deeds during the month specifically preparing meals for those who are less fortunate or homeless. Also, it is a time to consciously make an effort to do good for others including neighbors, community members, family, and friends. A lot of emphasis is placed on reading the Holy Quran and reconnecting to the word of God. Reading and learning together as a family is encouraged.
Ramadan is a time of cleansing spiritually and we pray that the behaviors and good habits that we learn within the month are carried throughout the year until the next Ramadan.
Women who are pregnant or nursing, individuals who are sick, traveling, elderly, or children under 13 are exempt from fasting.
This year will be different as we are all adapting to the new way of living temporarily. Many of us are dealing with the absence of our close loved ones and friends during holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays and Ramadan is no exception. We will be learning how to embrace new ways of connecting and still engaging in our deeds and traditions while practicing social distancing. Many mosques are making deliveries of food to those who are sick and less fortunate. We will continue to make all of our obligatory and special nightly prayers at home instead of the mosques and additional prayers are being made for those who are suffering illness, loss and prayers for relief for all of humanity during these difficult times.
This Ramadan is unique in a way that we are provided with an opportunity to deeply reflect and fully focus on the meaning of this month without distractions.
Don’t forget to wish your Muslim neighbors and friends a Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan) or Happy Ramadan!
Care to know more about the Islamic practices during Ramadan? Now is a perfect time to tap in and learn. Check out the websites of some of our surrounding mosques for many online classes, readings, and resourceful information:
Written by Joy Terrell, CNHP Contracts & Compliance Coordinator and Co-Chair of CNHP's Staff Council