Muslims fast, pray, reflect during Ramadan


The local Fishers Masjid Al-Huda (Al-Huda Islamic Center of Indiana) hosts nights Taraweeh during Ramadan.

Ahmad Aljamal

Ramadan is one of the most significant periods of the Islamic calendar, a time when millions of Muslims around the world fast from dawn until dusk for 30 days. It is a time of spiritual reflection, self-discipline and community gathering.

The holy month of Ramadan is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The dates vary each year as the Islamic calendar is based on the cycles of the moon. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on the evening of March 22 and end on April 21.

The main pillar of Ramadan is fasting, which means abstaining from food, drink and any pleasures in this world from fajr time to sunset. Fasting is seen as a way to purify the body and soul and to become closer to Allah, God. It is also a way to empathize with the less fortunate who do not have access to food and water. 

Muslims who are able to are obligated to give zakat al-fitr, which is around the cost of a meal, to the less fortunate. The breadwinner pays zakat al-fitr for each member of his household before the end of Ramadan.

The fast is broken at sunset with an iftar meal, which typically begins with dates and water followed by a full meal. Muslims often gather with family and friends to break their fast and share food. During Ramadan, many mosques also offer community iftar meals.

In addition to fasting, Ramadan is also a time of increased prayer and Quran recitation. Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran during the month, and many mosques hold nightly Taraweeh prayers where the Quran is recited in its entirety over the course of the month.

Ramadan is a time for reflection and introspection, and many Muslims use the month to focus on self-improvement and giving to charity. It is a time to be mindful of one’s actions and to try to live a more virtuous life.

The end of Ramadan is marked by the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, a three-day festival that includes prayer, feasting and gift-giving. It is a time of joy and celebration as Muslims reflect on their spiritual growth over the past month.

Ramadan is a time of great importance for Muslims around the world, a time for spiritual reflection, self-discipline and community gathering. As the month approaches, Muslims look forward to the opportunity to deepen their faith and strengthen their bonds with their community.