MIAMI, Fla. (Black PR Wire) – Ramadan Mubarak – Happy or Blessed Ramadan! – (Source: www.sfltimes.com) – Ramadan is a time where Muslims around the world observe increased practice of spiritual focus and strengthening their relationship with God.
Ramadan stems from “Laylat Al Qadar,” or the Night of Power, when the angel Gabriel ﬁrst began revealing the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed. During Ramadan, Muslims commemorate this revelation by fasting for one month.
Ramadan starts and stops on a different day each year, as the lunar Islamic calendar depends on the phases of the moon. For most this year, Ramadan started April 12 abroad, and April 13 in the United States, and ends May 12 or 13.
During this month – with exceptions such as for the ill, pregnant, those who are traveling, etc. – Muslims around the world participate in a month-long fast that starts at dawn and ends at dusk.
The physical fasting is only part of the holy observance. The main aim is to grow spiritually, and strengthen the relationship with Allah, or God in Arabic. This goal is achieved through emphasizing prayer, reciting scripture from the Quran, and acts of charity, while working harder to forgo gossiping, lying, ﬁghting or other discord.
“It is not mandatory but it is nice for non-Muslims to be mindful of those who are observing Ramadan” says devout Muslim Kareema Ali – Bowens. It is important to support the people in your life who are observing Ramadan this year. Some ways in which you can help support your Muslim family and friends are:
• Host dinner parties during “iftar,” the evening meal after the day’s fasting, generally around 7:30 p.m.
• Eat your breakfast or lunch in the break area instead of near your Muslim co-workers who are fasting during the workday.
• Avoid offering food after the “suhoor,” or pre-dawn breakfast, or before “iftar,” the evening meal, to people observing Ramadan.
• If you are an employer, giving your Muslim employees a quiet space for “Salah,” their prayer ﬁve times a day.
In the U.S., the largest indigenous community of Muslims are African Americans. According to pewresearch.org a ﬁfth of all U.S. Muslims are Black. Most have converted to Islam – or reverted, as many say, to the faith of countless of their ancestors snatched from Africa, documented by Alex Haley regarding his family’s “Roots.” African American Muslims are cited as being more sincere, more likely to observe fasting during Ramadan, as well as Salah or praying ﬁve times a day.
For non-Muslims this Ramadan, please be mindful of your Muslim family and friends. Be sensitive to their religious views and practices. For those who are observing Ramadan this year, Eid Kareem – blessed end of the fasting month! Stay strong in your holy fasting. Eid al-Fitr – the celebration of breaking the fast – is just around the corner!