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Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:16 pmForum Host
Ramadan in 2012 started on Friday, the 20th of July and continues for 30 days until Saturday, the 18th of August.
Based on sightability in North America, in 2012 Ramadan started in North America on Saturday, the 21st of July.
Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Ramadan moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year. The date of Ramadan may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.
The dates provided here are based on the dates adopted by the Fiqh Council of North America for the celebration of Ramadan. Note that these dates are based on astronomical calculations to affirm each date, and not on the actual sighting of the moon with the naked eyes. This approach is accepted by many.
Each year, Muslims spend the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observing a community-wide fast. The annual fast of Ramadan is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam. Muslims who are physically able are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset. The evenings are spent enjoying family and community meals, engaging in prayer and spiritual reflection, and reading from the Qu'ran.
The first verses of the Qu'ran were revealed during the month of Ramadan, and the very first word was: "Read!" During the month of Ramadan, as well as other times during the year, Muslims are encouraged to read and reflect on God's guidance.
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is compulsory on every Muslim adult. The Arabic word sawm is used for fasting. The word sawm (plural siyam) literally means 'to refrain', but as an Islamic term, it means refraining from food, drinks and sexual activity from dawn to sunset.
Fasting during Ramadan is practiced all over the world. The most significant aspect of Siyam is the development of Allah-consciousness (Taqwa) in the heart and the soul of a fasting Muslim. One must abstain from immoral behavior and attitude as well. Refraining from food and such is essential during fast but it is not sufficient.
Fasting is mandatory on every Muslim who is sane, adult, able and resident. The following exemptions apply:
1. the insane;
2. pre-adolescent children;
3. the elderly and chronically ill for whom fasting is unreasonably strenuous; Such persons are required to feed at least one poor person every day in Ramadan for which he or she has missed fasting.
4. pregnant women and nursing mothers may postpone the fasting at a later time;
5. the ill and travellers can also defer their fasting to be made up at a later date.
At the end of the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world enjoy a 3-day holiday known as "Eid al-Fitr" (Festival of Fast-Breaking).
RAMADAN RECIPES (link)
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