Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- According to the DarusSalam Foundation in Chicago, Ramadan begins this evening, May 16, after Maghrib, the fourth of five obligatory daily prayers performed by practicing Muslims. Maghrib is prayed just after sunset, which, this evening, falls at 8:06 p.m.
Chicago Hilal reported, “Ramadan 1st, 1439 will be on Thursday, May 17th. The Chicago Hilal Committee did not receive any credible reports of the moon being sighted.”
Non-Muslims may wonder why this is news. Doesn’t everyone know when Ramadan begins?
Islam follows a strict, lunar calendar. As such, the months in Islam regress roughly 10 days or so each year through the Gregorian calendar. The month lasts 29-30 days, and is based on visible sightings of the crescent moon, the time of the new month.
According to the Chicago Hilal Committee’s Web site, the committee “was formed under the auspices of renowned scholars as well as representatives from the various mosques (masajid) to be able to carry out a responsibility that has been inherited by the Muslim community – especially the scholars – from the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam). This responsibility is to determine the Islamic calendar through the sighting of the moon.”
In Islam, the start of each month comes with the New Moon, “the phase of the Moon when it lies closest to the Sun in the sky as seen from the Earth. More precisely, it is the instant when the Moon and the Sun have the sameecliptic longitude.”
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar:
It contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53=354.36 days, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Christian calendar.
Ramadan regresses approximately 10 days every year through the Gregorian calendar. So Chicagoland Muslims are in for a few summers of Ramadan for the next few years. During Ramadan, from sun-up to sunset, Muslims refrain from eating any food, including water, unless medical reasons dictate otherwise.
If you have Muslim friends, wish them a hearttfelt “Ramadan Mubarak,” a Blessed Ramadan, during the next lunar month.
So, we wish our Muslim brothers and sisters Ramadan Mubarak!