In 2016, the Muslim holy month of Ranmadan covers the longest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
Why does that matter? It makes Ramadan challenging because observant Muslims will observe strict fasting from sunup to sundown. At this time of year in New York City, for example, that means 15 hours a day of fasting. In December, daylight lasts only about 9 hours and 15 minutes. So, if you have Muslim friends making a month of 15-hour fasts, you’ll understand what they are going through?
Here are some questions and answers excerpted from “100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans.” This part of the guide was written by Read the Spirit’s Stephanie Fenton.
Arguably the most widely recognized Islamic observance among non-Muslims, the month of Ramadan brings 30 days of daytime fasting and intense prayer. (In some years and in some regions, Ramadan lasts only 29 days, depending on the crescent moon sighting.) The sincerity with which Muslims undertake Ramadan is reflected in news headlines across the globe. Muslim athletes in the 2012 Olympic Games and players in the 2014 World Cup had to make decisions regarding key competitions and days without a single drop of water. Ramadan requires that every able Muslim refrain from food, drink, smoking, swearing and sexual relations during daylight hours to focus on God and the Quran. Strict fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Continue reading “Ramadan covers Northern Hemisphere’s longest days of 2016”