Wishing All Our Muslim Members a Happy Ramadan

April 14, 2021

To: All MoveUP Members

Wishing All Our Muslim Members a Happy Ramadan

This past Tuesday evening, April 13, marked the start of Ramadan which runs for one month until Wednesday, May 12. Ramadan is the Arabic name for the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is considered one of the holiest Islamic. Our Human Rights & Multicultural Committee would like to take the time to acknowledge all of our members who are observing this annual tradition.

What is the history behind Ramadan?

Ramadan is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline, a reminder for Muslims on human frailty and their dependence on God for sustenance, and for them to feel what it is like to be hungry and thirsty in order to strengthen their compassion and duty to help others.

Muslims also believe that some of the first versus of the Islamic holy book, the Qu’ran, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month. That is why there is an extra emphasis on reciting the Qu’ran during this time.

What are some of the customs?

The main custom is that during this period, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset as an act of worship. They will consume an early morning meal before dawn (known as suhoor or sehri), and break their fast after sunset for an evening meal (known as iftar or fitoor).

During this period, observers are also encouraged to give to charity, strengthen their relationship with God, and show kindness and peace. They also head to a mosque for an additional night prayer called Taraweeh, which is only held during Ramadan.

The end of Ramadan is marked with a celebration called Eid al-Fitr, where Muslims attend prayers at the mosque and then enjoy a large meal with family and friends as well as exchange gifts.

All Muslims are required to take part in Ramadan every year, although there are special dispensations for those who are ill, pregnant or nursing, menstruating, traveling, and for young children and the elderly.

How can I support and be respectful of Muslim friends during Ramadan?

In some Muslim countries, it is a crime to eat and drink in public during Ramadan even for non-Muslims. That won’t be a consideration here, but it is important to respect the customs of those observing the tradition. That means being careful not to offer someone food or drink during this period.

If you want to provide well wishes, you can simply say “Happy Ramadan” or “Happy Eid.” You can also use a more traditional standard greeting such as “Ramadan/Eid kareem” (“have a generous Ramadan/Eid”) or “Ramadan/Eid Mubarak” (“have a blessed Ramadan/Eid.”)

In Solidarity,

Gunter Seifert & Christy Slusarenko
Co-chairs, Human Rights & Multicultural Committee

File Number: 21-MoveUP-CMIT-HRMC-Wishing All Our Muslim Members a Happy Ramadan-April-14
Union Label: jb:usw2009


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