For Muslims, the advent of Ramadan, Islam’s holiest month, marks a golden opportunity to purify from sins. Ramadan, which started Saturday, is also a source of solace and peace.
Ramadan is the fourth of five pillars in Islam. From sunrise to sunset, Muslim adults (over 15) are to fast from sustenance (including water) and sex. The holy book, the Qur’an, was revealed in Ramadan.
Minnesota Muslims, estimated at a quarter of a million by some, used to determine the arrival of Ramadan the old way: moon-sighting. With a gloomy weather like Friday’s, it became increasingly difficult to sight the moon.
Now, faith leaders decided to make the technology do hard the job. Astronomical calculations are increasingly becoming popular among mosques.
As the sun goes down, hundreds of Muslims flock to mosques for prayer and food. Dates and water are the first nourishments for fasters. Most people then go back home to have a dinner.
At night, many Muslims head back to mosques for an extended prayer. In fact, some devout Muslims perform extra prayers in the wee hours of the last 10 days of the month.
Eid Al-Fitr, Islam’s second holiest day, concludes Ramadan.