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A message on Ramadan

Ramadan Kareem graphic

Ahead of the holy month of Ramadan the University's new Muslim Chaplain, Imam Mohammad Asad, shares some information on practices observed in the Muslim faith. 

What is Ramadan?

From this weekend onwards (10th March) Muslims around the world will start fasting during daylight hours, meaning they will abstain from eating, drinking or engaging in sexual relations for the duration of their fast. Young children, pregnant women, the old, the sick and travellers are examples of those who are exempt from fasting.

Aside from fasting, Muslims observing Ramadan also increase in spiritual devotional acts such as prayers, giving charity and strengthening family ties. Muslims are also encouraged to share their food with friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and to reach out to those who may be fasting alone, to share their Ramadan experiences.

Why fasting?

“O you who believe, fasting has been prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those before you, so that you may attain Taqwa (God-conscious)” [Quran 2:183]

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. A key objective of fasting increase in Taqwa (closeness to / consciousness of God), and to engender a sense of gratitude, self-discipline and self-improvement, at both an individual and community level, which Muslims are encouraged to continue throughout the year.

At an individual level, fasting encourages us to feel an affinity with the poor across the world who have little or no food to eat. At a community level, the breaking of fast meal (Iftar) at sunset encourages families and local communities to share their meal together, whilst charity work in local communities typically increases during Ramadan.

The end of Ramadan is marked by the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, known as the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’. Similar to the beginning of Ramadan, the end of the month is determined by moon sighting.

Wishing everyone a happy month of Ramadan

Imam Mohammad Asad

Muslim Chaplain

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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