(Press release to announce Ramadan by Imam Ali Siddiqui, Jamaat al-Muslimeen, P.O.Box 683, San Dimas, CA 91710, Phone: 909-591-0745, email:

1.3 billion Muslims of the world will celebrate their holiest month of Ramadan starting Nov 27, 2000. During this month, Muslim healthy adults will observe Fasting during the daylight hours. Muslim Fasting is a total abstention from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days of the month of Ramadan. In addition, avoiding immoral behavior and anger and showing compassion is part of the requirements of the fasting. The purpose of fasting is manifold. Al'lah (the God Almighty) mentioned in the Holy Book of the Muslims, Quran, that the fasting is prescribed for the believers as it was prescribed for the people before them, so that they may acquire self control and God-consciousness. Therefore, the purpose of the fasting is to develop God-consciousness, self control, improvement of health by reducing or eliminating impurities from the body, and to become aware of the plight of the poor, hungry, and the sick. Ramadan is a month of spiritual consciousness and high sense of social responsibility. The fulfillment of one's obligations during the month is rewarded by 70 times.

Fasting is one of the 5 pillars of Islam including Announcement of Faith, Salaat (praying 5 times a day), Zakaat (the right of the poor on the wealth of the financially able), Fasting during the month of Ramadan, and Hajj (once a life time pilgrimage to Kaaba). It is an obligation on every adult and healthy Muslim to fast during the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is also the month in which the Holy Quran was sent down from 7th level of heaven to the 1st level, from where it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in peace meal basis over a period of 23 years. It is a very joyous occasion for the Muslims of the world. They fast during the day, pray, and read Quran during the part of the night. There is a special night called the Night of Power, which is mentioned in the Quran, as a night of mercy and light and worshiping during this night is better than 1,000 months. During this night, Quran was sent to the 1st level of heaven. Al'lah (the God Almighty) send down special angels during this night to pray for the mercy of Al'lah (the God Almighty) and salvation for the believers.

Unlike common calendar, which is Solar based, Islamic calendar is Lunar based. It does not mean that Muslims worship moon. It is simply another way to count days of the month and the year. Like all Islamic months, Ramadan, 9th lunar month, begins after sighting Crescent, but not the new moon. The probability to see Crescent for Ramadan is on Nov 26, 2000 just after sunset on the western horizon. The population of Muslims in the US is estimated at 7 million, of which 1 million live in the Southern California. All healthy Muslim adult including homemaker, school-going kids around the age of 13, factory workers, businessmen, and others among them will be fasting. Your Muslim neighbors will be getting up very early to take their sahoor, a pre-dawn meal before starting their fast. So, don't get alarmed if you hear lot of noise next door. School staff has to show understanding and consideration towards Muslim students fasting during the month of Ramadan from Nov. 27 to Dec. 26, 2000. They should be assigned alternate activities instead of strenuous gym activities. Physicians should also understand that their patients might be fasting. They should prescribe the medicine in a way that they could take it with their pre-dawn or after sunset meals. However, if the patients' life may be in jeopardy, explain it to the patients or seek help from a Muslim Chaplain at the local hospital, like Imam Ali Siddiqui (909-591-0745) at the local Community Hospital or an Imam/director of a local Musjid/mosque/Islamic Center. According to Muslim physicians, there are some physiological benefits from Muslim Fasting (total abstention from food and liquids) including lower of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of systolic blood pressure.

At the completion of month of Fasting, Muslims all over the world celebrate their holiday of Eid al-Fitr. It is the biggest Muslim holiday. It is a true thanksgiving for a Muslim believer for having the opportunity to obey Al'lah (the God Almighty) by observing Fasting. It is celebrated on the 1st day of 10th lunar month, Shaw'waal. The holiday begins with Muslims putting on their best preferably new clothes and going to the Eid congregation. Eid congregations are very large gathering of Muslim men, women, and children across the country. You can witness these gathering on places like McCormick Place, Chicago, IL, Regent Park, London, UK, or local Convention Centers and Community Parks. In Southern California, large congregations are held at Pomona Fairplex, Mile Square Park, LA Convention Center, and like. Afterwards, people greet each other with hugs and handshakes. The children receive gifts of money and toys. After the congregation, Muslims visit each other at their homes and hold lunches or dinners for family and friends. Don't be surprised if you are invited to an Eid dinner or Eid celebration by your Muslim neighbor or friend. Please do accept such an invitation. The hospitality, friendliness, and variety of international Muslim cuisine will pleasantly surprise you. Ramadan Karim (Greetings of Ramadan)!


2000-11-29 Wed 18:25ct