Muslims welcome Ramadan

SAIF DAHLAH AFP/GETTY IMAGES Palestinian women stand in front of a window decoration of Islam’s crescent moon and a five … Continued



Palestinian women stand in front of a window decoration of Islam’s crescent moon and a five branches star on the eve of Islam’s holy fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Jenin on July 31, 2011.

This year, Ramadan begins Monday, August 1st.

As it is tied to the lunar calendar, the dates for Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, vary from year to year.

 According to Fatimah Goodwin at the Islamic Center in Washington, DC, Ramadan begins at “based on the first sighting of the new moon The month will then last for 29 or 30 days, again depending on the lunar cycle, and will end on August 29 or August 30 this year.”


Hani Mohammed


A Muslim man read the Quran, Islam’s holy book, on the first day of Ramadan at the Grand Mosque in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, Monday Aug. 1, 2011.

Ramadan’s origins stem from the belief that “during this month, the Koran was revealed to the prophet Mohammad,” says Goodwin. In commemoration of this defining event, the entire month of Ramadan is recognized as being a holy time in the calendar, and one for fasting and prayer.

As mandated within Koran, Chapter 2, verses 183-185, adult Muslims are to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse during daytime hours. “Fasting like this is prescribed so that you might focus on restraint, Goodwin says. “It is intended so that you can purify yourself and use it as a time for self-reflection and contemplation.”

Andy Wong


Two Chinese Hui Muslim girl read the Quran, Islam’s holy book, at the Niujie Mosque as they wait for their fast on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Beijing, China, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011

 During Ramadan, fasting begins everyday at “fajr,” the dawn prayer, often about two hours before sunrise, and lasts until the evening prayer of “magrib.” The exact timing of each of these prayers varies from day-to-day, but a complete list of prayer times listing can be found on the Islamic Center’s website.  

Nader Daoud


A Jordanian Muslim cleric looks through a telescope to observe the moon in order to determine the start date for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Amman, Jordan, Saturday July 30, 2011. Clerics announced that Monday Aug. 1 will be the first day of Ramadan.

More On Faith and Islam:

AltMuslimah: Ramadan etiquette guide


  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

Read More Articles

Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.