Ramadan 2022 Has Arrived


Photo acquired from Pixabay

On the night of April 1st, the new moon was sighted, which marked the beginning of Ramadan in 2022. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims around the world have the religious obligation to fast from dawn to sunset. That also means no water. Fasting during this holy month or anytime is the fourth pillar in the five pillars of Islam. The holy month usually lasts for 29 to 30 days depending on when the Muslim community see the next new moon. 

A lot of questions are always asked about this month and how it is celebrated by the Muslim community.

Aren’t you going to die?

Just as it was mentioned, we fast from dawn to sunset which is around 11 -12 hours. The holy month moves closer around 10 days earlier every year because the Islamic Calendar is smaller than the Gregorian Calendar. Students who were interviewed from the MSA (Muslim Student Association) have mentioned that “it gets easier every year since it gets closer and closer” because the days tend to get shorter and it comes earlier every year. Eating and drinking are not the only acts that invalidate the fast. Other Acts such as smoking, chewing gum, and vomiting on purpose can also break the fast. When it’s time for Muslims break their fast at sunset, they always recite a prayer before they begin eating. Middle Eastern Dates are traditionally the first food eaten at Iftar – the meal after sunset. In Islam, we believe that dates are very nutritious and very healthy. We also go around and send some of our own foods to our Muslim neighbors before sunset. If a Muslim were to fast, they would only get 5 minutes to break their fast after sunset. If the fast has not been broken within the 5 minutes, then the fast is invalidated.

 Does everyone have to fast? 

There are some exceptions for a person who is on medication, if a woman is heavily pregnant or on their cycle, if they are elderly, if they are traveling, and if they are still too young then they do not have to fast. Fasting isn’t officially mandatory until a person reaches the age of 13. But many Muslim children still start fasting at an early age to either practice when it becomes mandatory or if they officially decide to start fasting on their own. 

Why do Muslims fast for Ramadan? 

One of our goals during this month is to try to strengthen our relationship with God and remind ourselves to be grateful for the things we have. We also believe that during this time, the verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(Peace Be Upon Him). MSA students also mentioned that during this time, they are “able to create stronger relationships with friends and family” and are “able to repent from bad habits.” This is also a time where we donate towards charity and we always donate 2.5% of our income to charity. Donating money towards charity is the third pillar in the five pillars of Islam.

Ramadan is different based on time and dates every year. After Ramadan has concluded, we celebrate a holiday called “Eid al-Fitr” which stands for “Festival of Breaking Fast”. Like Ramadan, Eid is also celebrated with friends and family. Gifts and food are given from different family members and there are also multiple festivities to make this holiday special.