Muslims around the World are becoming prepared for Ramadan.
A record-breaking 88,000 Muslims gathered in Birmingham on July 6, 2016, to celebrate Eid al-Fitr as the month of fasting got to an end.
But Ramadan is much more than fasting. It’s also for spirituality, charity, reflection, resolutions and feeling closer to the Creator.
It additionally gives people perception into what the poor and needy feel like after they haven’t any food or water. This a time for Muslims to reveal their gratitude to Allah.
In 2017, the general election, GCSE and A-level tests will all fall during Ramadan, developing an extra mission for campaigning Muslim politicians and for Muslim students.
So what are the dates of ramadan in 2017? why does the date vary and is anyone exempt from fasting?
When will ramadan be in 2017?
Ramadan will start on Saturday, May 27, 2017, and lasts till June 24, 2017.
The fast is broken with the celebrations of Eid al-Fitr on June 25, 2017, as the next month (Shawwal) starts begins.
Why does the date vary?
The Islamic calendar is based totally at the cycle of the moon, but the Gregorian calendar in large part used within the Western World is based at the Sun.
Due to the fact the 2 calendars don’t align precisely, the Islamic dates move back by 11 days a year.
So how is the date worked out?
In Islam, the begin and end of month is based totally on a sighting of the first crescent of the new moon at mecca, in Saudi Arabia.
Mecca is Islam’s holiest town because it’s the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the location where the Qur’an or Koran was first revealed to him.
However, of course, the crescent moon may not always be seen – because of its position inside the sky or due to cloudy weather.
It has been decreed seeing that March 2002 that if the first crescent of the new moon is seen above Mecca at the twenty ninth day of the present month, then Ramadan has ended and the following day will be the beginning of the new month.
If the moon isn’t seen, the present month will pass on another day, lasting a total of 30 days. This took place in 2016, when the moon was not sighted on July 4th and consequently Eid become not the next day instead on July 6th.
So the date of Ramadan – and, consequently, of Eid al-Fitr on the begin of the next month – is not acknowledged until a day or so before it is expected to occur.
For 2017, the moon has not been sighted so the primary day of Ramdan has been confirmed as Saturday, May 27 with prayers starting at 11pm on friday, may 26.
Before 2002, slightly distinctive guidelines had been used for figuring out the start of the month however were still based on the moon.
Some governments and other organizations instead look at astronomical charts so that they can plan further ahead.
In Saudi Arabia, the institute of Astronomical & Geophysical studies of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), use modern Science to work out the Umm al-Qura calendar – this is utilized by the country’s government for placing the date of its policies, events and other civic matters. It has already deterrmined Ramadan to be from may 27 to June 24.
That calendar is likewise utilized by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and the Eu Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR).
But the religious authorities in Saudi Arabia nevertheless base their selections on the first sighting of the lunar crescent.
What takes place during ramadan?
Ramadan is a month of fasting.
Muslims have to abstain from food, drink, smoking and intercourse every day, among an early-morning meal (Suhur) and a night-time meal (Iftar).
While fasting, they have extra time to focus their minds and activities on prayer and spiritual reflection, including greater study of the Qur’an.
Ramadan was specifically tough in 2016 because it was the period that was leading up to (and including) the longest day of the year.
Because the fast takes place very early in the morning (some hours before sunrise) to sunset, it has supposed long durations of 19 hours with out foods and drinks.
In 2017, it won’t include the longest day however it will still cover a period of prolonged daylight, so it will still be a challenge.