Ramadan Starts This Week | March 22, 2023 - April 21, 2023
by Mehrin Saleem
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holy month dedicated to fasting, introspection, and prayer for Muslims all around the world. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other four pillars include Shahadah, the affirmation that there is only one God and Muhammad is his messenger, Salat, praying five times a day, Zakat, giving to charity, and Hajj, making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in one’s lifetime.
The month marks the time in which Prophet Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Quran, the holy book for followers of Islam. During this time, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. The first day of fasting this year is on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Those fastings eat a meal before dawn, called suhoor. Fast is broken with a meal shared with family and friends called an iftar. Typically, the first food eaten to break fast are dates. The 27th day of Ramadan, called Layat al-Qadr, is especially observed. It is believed that on this night, Muhammad received the Quran. Eid al-fitr marks the end of the month of fasting. The day typically begins with prayer, followed by gatherings and celebrations among family and friends.
Although Ramadan is not an official U.S. holiday, the commencement of Ramadan was recognized by the 110th Congress in 2007. House Resolution 635 (H.Res.635) acknowledged Ramadan and expressed respect for Muslims in the United States and throughout the world regarding this significant occasion.