What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a month in which Muslims fast from dawn until dusk for 29-30 days. Ramadan begins with the sighting of the moon, in accordance with the lunar calendar. Ramadan ends with a celebration of ending the fast, called Eid Al-Fitr.
What does the fast entail?
Muslims do not eat or drink from dawn until dusk. Muslims practice good deeds such as giving charity, helping others, and attempt to rid themselves from ill habits such as gossiping, cheating, jealousy, and anger.
Who fasts? Who is exempt from fasting?
Muslims are required to fast once they hit puberty. Families often encourage younger children to practice shortened fasts, sometimes starting at 7-years-old. Those who are chronically ill or mentally disabled do not have to fast. Pregnant and nursing mothers are also exempt from fasting. They can make up the fasts at a later time. However, many pregnant women fast with no adverse effects to their children’s development.
How do Muslims celebrate Ramadan?
During Ramadan, Muslims increase their worship in God by reading Quran, the holy book for Muslims, giving alms and charity, and doing good deeds. Muslims pray a night prayer after breaking their fast, called Tarawih, usually at the mosque in congregation. Muslims believe good deeds are increased in blessings during this month.
Are there any traditions associated with Ramadan?
How can people who do not celebrate Ramadan participate?
How can I teach my kids about Ramadan?
Reading is a great way to learn about Ramadan. Here are a list of books on Amazon.com which share the experience of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr:
“It’s Ramadan, Curious George” by H. A. Rey & Hena Khan
“Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns” by Hena Khan
“Night of the Moon” by Hena Khan
“Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets” by Hena Khan
“Once Upon a Ramadan” by D.N. Hockey
“Raihanna’s First Time Fasting” by Qamaer Hassan
“Yusuf’s Ramadan Lanterns” by Jasmin Zina
“Ramadan Moon” by Na’ima B. Robert& Shirin Adl
“Under the Ramadan Moon” by Sylvia Whitman & Sue Williams
Moon Watchers: Shirin’s Ramadan Miracle” by Reza Jalali & Anne Sibley O’Brien
“Owl & Cat Ramadan Is…” by Emma Apple
Nargis Hakim Rahman is a Bangladeshi American Muslim writer and a mother of three kids. She is a fellow for Feet in Two Worlds/WDET 101.9 FM for a food journalism fellowship.
Nargis graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, and a psychology minor. Rahman was a part of the Wayne State’s Journalism Institute for Media Diversity, a honors learning community. She has reported for The Muslim Observer, a national Muslim newspaper since 2010, The South End, Wayne State University’s student newspaper, and The Hamtramck Review, Hamtramck’s community newspaper. Rahman is passionate about community journalism in the Greater Detroit area. She hopes to give local American Muslims and minorities a voice in the press. She blogs for Brown Girl Magazine and Haute Hijab.