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What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, a month-long fasting observed by Muslims worldwide, began the evening of Monday, April 12. Learn more with our quick facts below:

  • Ramadan is observed in the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.
  • Muslims who are able to fast from sunrise to sunset for the duration of Ramadan. all Muslims who are able.
  • Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a major core of the Islamic faith. 
  • Ramadan is observed once a year, during times Muslims believe the first recitations of the Quran were revealed to Mohammad, the final Prophet in Islam. 
  • Since Islam follows the lunar calendar, based on the phases of the moon, it is approximately 10 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar that is followed in the United States. Therefore, Ramadan’s beginning and ending dates go backward about 10 days each year when looked at from the Gregorian calendar. 
An info graph listing the basics of Ramadan. Information on the graphic is included in the article.
Auburn Examiner
  • During fasting, eating, drinking, tobacco use, and sexual activity is forbidden, and sinful behavior is especially discouraged. 
  • Muslims refer to the predawn meal they eat during Ramadan as suhur. Iftar is the nightly feast that breaks the fast.
  • Instead, Muslims focus on praying, giving to charity, reading scripture from the Quran, and focusing on their relationship with God. 
  • Although Islam is the world’s second-largest religion with about 1.8 billion followers, not all Muslims fast; any elderly, traveling, ill, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating people are not required to fast. 
  • Those unable to fast can still participate in Ramadan. Extra praying, charity donations, feeding the hungry, reading the Quran, and other good deeds are also a way of observing Ramadan. 
  • The season Ramadan falls in has a significant impact on the fasting hours. Fasting in the summer is more difficult than fasting in the winter since earlier sunsets mean breaking the fast sooner. 
  • Following the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate a successful fasting period with Eid al-Fitr, a three-day holiday that begins the day after the last fasting date. 
  • Eid al-Fitr is generally celebrated with a big meal, family gatherings, presents and cash gifts, although traditions vary from culture to culture. 

Ramadan 2021 began Monday, April 12 (or Tuesday, April 13 depending on the country), and lasts through Tuesday, May 11.  Though Auburn does not have a Mosque, there are several local Mosques in Kent, Federal Way, Tukwila, and SeaTac.

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