Ramadan 2021 latest update – Holy month finally underway as 2 billion Muslims mark 1st day after official moon sighting

Ramadan 2021 latest update – Holy month finally underway as 2 billion Muslims mark 1st day after official moon sighting

04/14/2021

TWO billion Muslims have marked the first day of Ramadan, after the the official sighting of the new crescent moon.

The holy month of Ramadan is considered a time of spiritual reflection, fasting and prayers.

Each year, Muslims across the globe abstain from eating or drinking between dawn and sundown during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

The first day of Ramadan began yesterday, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

A health boss has confirmed that Muslims can have a Covid-19 jab during Ramadan without breaking their fast.

David Regan, Manchester’s director of Public Health, said: "The vaccine will not invalidate the fast and I would urge anyone who is contacted about their first or second jab during Ramadan to keep their appointment.”

He also told Manchester Evening News: "We have a large population of Muslim residents in Manchester and it’s important that the work we are doing supports them, particularly during Ramadan.

"The Muslim Council of Great Britain and the British Islamic Medical Association has produced a wealth of information to ensure that worshippers in Manchester can make the right decision over the vaccine."

Fasting begins at sunrise after suhur and then finishes at sunset with iftar.

All Muslims who have reached puberty are expected to fast during Ramadan.

However, there are some exceptions such as women who are menstruating or pregnant and those suffering from illness.

Read our Ramadan live blog below for all of the latest news and updates…

  • Alice Peacock

    WHAT IS EID?

    Those participating in Ramadan end the month with a a celebration called Eid al-Fitr.

    Many Muslims attend Eid prayers at the mosque, before enjoying a large meal with friends and family.

    It was also very common for believers to exchange money and gifts with one another.

    This year, Eid will fall on May 12 – or for some, May 13.

    Celebrations will still be affected by lockdown restrictions.

  • Alice Peacock

    MUSLIMS IN LIMA PERFORMING FIRST TARAWIH PRAYER YESTERDAY

    Muslims in Lima perform the first Tarawih prayer on the first day of holy Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

    The prayers took place at the mosque of the Islamic Association of Peru in the Magdalena district in Lima.

  • Alice Peacock

    WHY IS FASTING IMPORTANT?

    Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, so all adult Muslims are expected to fast.

    It is thought abstaining from these activities will lead to greater “taqwa”, or consciousness of God.

    During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are obliged to abstain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.

    If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated for by fasting at a later date.

    Or they can pay “fidyah”, a religious term for donation of food or money.

  • Alice Peacock

    WHO IS EXEMPT FROM FASTING DURING RAMADAN?

    You are exempt from fasting if you are:

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding
    • Menstruating
    • Diabetic
    • Very ill
    • Travelling long distances

    ‘DON’T DELAY’ TESTING FOR COVID OR HAVING JAB DESPITE RAMADAN – IMAM

    Those taking part in Ramadan have been urged to continue going for coronvirus testing.

    Ustadh Nasar Ishfaq, Imam at the British Muslim Heritage Centre said: “Please do not delay taking your Covid vaccine during the days of Ramadan if you’re invited to do so,” reports Manchester Evening News.

    The Imam added: “Taking the vaccine does not break your fast and neither does getting a test for Covid-19.

    “Though of course if you feel unwell then it is permitted to break your fast and to make it up another day.”

    COVID JABS FINE DURING RAMADAN – HEALTH CHIEF

    A health boss has confirmed that Muslims can have a Covid-19 jab during Ramadan without breaking their fast.

    David Regan, Manchester’s director of Public Health, said: “The vaccine will not invalidate the fast and I would urge anyone who is contacted about their first or second jab during Ramadan to keep their appointment.”

    He also told Manchester Evening News: “We have a large population of Muslim residents in Manchester and it’s important that the work we are doing supports them, particularly during Ramadan.

    “The Muslim Council of Great Britain and the British Islamic Medical Association has produced a wealth of information to ensure that worshippers in Manchester can make the right decision over the vaccine.”

    VACCINATED WEST BANK PALESTINIANS ALLOWED TO PRAY IN AL-AQSA MOSQUE

    Israel was allowing 10,000 fully vaccinated Palestinian residents of the West Bank to pray in the al-Aqsa mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan.

    The sacred mosque in Jerusalem is open for prayers during Ramadan amid Israel’s rapid vaccination rollout.

    “We hope that it will be a good month after the great setback that the whole world was exposed to,” Jerusalem shop owner Reyad Hallaq said.

    NEW MOON RESTS OVER NORTHERN TOWN OF BHANNINE, LEBANON

    The new moon rests over the northern town of Bhannine, on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

    The beginning of the new month on the Muslim calendar depends on the sighting of the new moon.

     

    MECCA MARKS START OF RAMADAN

    In Mecca, home to the Kaaba – Islam’s most sacred site – Muslims have today performed socially distanced “taraweeh” prayers, marking the start of Ramadan.

    Observant Muslims around the world pray toward the Kaaba five times a day.

    Only limited numbers of worshippers were being allowed inside the Grand Mosque that houses the Kaaba to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

    Saudi authorities were only allowing individuals who’ve been vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus to perform taraweeh prayers at the Kaaba.

    • Alice Peacock

      NO FOOD OR DRINK MORNING TILL NIGHT

      Throughout Ramadan, Muslims abstain from any food or drink – including water – from morning to night.

      The month-long practice is aimed at heightening remembrance of God, curbing unhealthy habits and deepening gratitude.

      Credit: EPA
    • Alice Peacock

      SMALLER PRAYER GROUPS AND SANITISATION STATIONS

      Mosques around the UK have updated protocols to accommodate worshippers during a second Ramadan affected by Covid restrictions.

      The East London Mosque and Muslim Centre, one of the largest mosques in Europe and the biggest in the UK – accommodating more than 7,000 worshippers on Fridays before the pandemic – is preparing to welcome people back for Ramadan prayers, according to Guardian reports.

      Shaykh Abdul Qayum, the mosque's head imam, said they were "blessed" to be able to return.

      "“However, we shouldn’t forget that we are still in a pandemic, and as such, the mosque has taken appropriate precautions to ensure that Ramadan in its premises is conducted in a safe way," he said.

      The mosque has shortened prayer sessions, worshipping groups would be smaller, and sanitisation stations had been placed throughout the building.

    • Debbie White

      HEALTH MINISTER HIGHLIGHTS JAB ROLLOUT DURING RAMADAN

      Health minister Nadhim Zahawi said the Government is supporting the Covid vaccine programme during important religious observances, including Ramadan.

      He said: "We are working closely with faith and community leaders to help spread information about vaccines through trusted, familiar voices and in a range of different languages and settings.

      "This also means leveraging the influence of celebrity figures such as Sir Lenny Henry, (with his) very powerful and incredibly moving call to action letter and video to black and Afro-Caribbean communities, really important.

      "We're also working to support the vaccine programme over important religious observances for example Ramadan [which began April 13].

      "We are working with the Muslim community, reiterating the verdict of Islamic scholars and key Muslim figures within the NHS that the vaccine does not break the fast and is permissible, so come and get your vaccine."

    • Debbie White

      NEARLY TWO BILLION MUSLIMS MARKED 1ST DAY OF RAMADAN

      Nearly two billion Muslims worldwide were expected to mark the first day of Ramadan on Tuesday, April 13, reports Arab News.

      The start was marked after an official sighting of the new crescent moon, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court said.

      King Salman said: “The month of Ramadan is upon us and the world is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

      “We thank God for the scientific efforts in developing vaccines to curb the pandemic.”

    • Debbie White

      NEXT APRIL 13 RAMADAN – 2054

      Ramadan begins 10 to 12 days earlier each year, writes Aljazeera.

      It adds: "This is because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar “Hijri” calendar with months that are 29 to 30 days long.

      "The next time Ramadan will start around April 13 will be about 33 years from now, or the year 2054."

    • Debbie White

      'DON'T DELAY' TESTING FOR COVID OR HAVING JAB DESPITE RAMADAN – IMAM

      Those taking part in Ramadan have been urged to continue going for coronvirus testing.

      Ustadh Nasar Ishfaq, Imam at the British Muslim Heritage Centre said: “Please do not delay taking your Covid vaccine during the days of Ramadan if you’re invited to do so," reports Manchester Evening News.

      The Imam added: “Taking the vaccine does not break your fast and neither does getting a test for Covid-19.

      “Though of course if you feel unwell then it is permitted to break your fast and to make it up another day.”

    • Debbie White

      COVID JABS FINE DURING RAMADAN – HEALTH CHIEF

      A health boss has confirmed that Muslims can have a Covid-19 jab during Ramadan without breaking their fast.

      David Regan, Manchester’s director of Public Health, said: "The vaccine will not invalidate the fast and I would urge anyone who is contacted about their first or second jab during Ramadan to keep their appointment.”

      He also told Manchester Evening News: "We have a large population of Muslim residents in Manchester and it’s important that the work we are doing supports them, particularly during Ramadan.

      "The Muslim Council of Great Britain and the British Islamic Medical Association has produced a wealth of information to ensure that worshippers in Manchester can make the right decision over the vaccine."

    • Debbie White

      VACCINATED WEST BANK PALESTINIANS ALLOWED TO PRAY IN AL-AQSA MOSQUE

      Israel was allowing 10,000 fully vaccinated Palestinian residents of the West Bank to pray in the al-Aqsa mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan.

      The sacred mosque in Jerusalem is open for prayers during Ramadan amid Israel’s rapid vaccination rollout.

      “We hope that it will be a good month after the great setback that the whole world was exposed to,” Jerusalem shop owner Reyad Hallaq said.

    • Debbie White

      MUSLIMS SCALE BACK RAMADAN PREPARATIONS IN LEBANON

      In Lebanon, most Muslims began Ramadan on Tuesday amid soaring inflation.

      The small country is in the grips of the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history, with the Lebanese currency losing some 80% of its value against the US dollar in recent months.

      The crisis – a result of decades of endemic corruption and mismanagement – has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. Many people were having to scale back their Ramadan preparations.

      “We cannot buy anything. We ask how much the lettuce is, the cucumber and the tomato,” said Samiyeh al-Turk at a busy open air market in Beirut Monday.

      “How we are going to get through the month of Ramadan? I don’t know,” she added.

    • Debbie White

      MECCA MARKS START OF RAMADAN

      In Mecca, home to the Kaaba – Islam’s most sacred site – Muslims have today performed socially distanced “taraweeh” prayers, marking the start of Ramadan.

      Observant Muslims around the world pray toward the Kaaba five times a day.

      Only limited numbers of worshippers were being allowed inside the Grand Mosque that houses the Kaaba to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

      Saudi authorities were only allowing individuals who’ve been vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus to perform taraweeh prayers at the Kaaba.

      Muslim worshippers pray around the KaabaCredit: AFP
    • Debbie White

      NO FOOD OR DRINK MORNING TILL NIGHT

      Throughout Ramadan, Muslims abstain from any food or drink – including water – from morning to night.

      The month-long practice is aimed at heightening remembrance of God, curbing unhealthy habits and deepening gratitude.

      Muslims offer special Taravih prayers during Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, April 13, 2021Credit: EPA

       

    • Debbie White

      MUSLIMS MARK RAMADAN DURING CORONAVIRUS SURGE

      Muslims in many parts of the world marked the start of Ramadan today, Tuesday.

      But a spike in coronavirus cases in several countries has once again put curbs on the holy month’s signature feasts and lengthy prayers in mosques.

      Clerics in such places as Indonesia have issued assurances the Covid vaccine does not break one’s daytime fast.

    • Debbie White

      WHAT HAPPENS DURING RAMADAN?

      During Ramadan, Muslims observing the holy month abstain from food and drink — even water — during the day.

      Muslims traditionally break the daylong Ramadan fast with their first sips of water and their evening meal, called iftar.

      Muslim worshippers are shown in this pic below as they pray around the Kaaba.

      This is the holiest shrine in the Grand mosque complex in the Saudi city of Mecca.

      The photo was taken during the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan on April 13.

      Muslim worshippers pray around the KaabaCredit: AFP
    • Debbie White

      DUBAI DITCHES RESTAURANT CURTAINS TO HIDE FOOD DURING RAMADAN

      Dubai is no longer demanding curtain covers for restaurants during Ramadan.

      It is parting with a longstanding requirement that restaurants be covered by curtains in the daytime during Ramadan to shield the sight of food from people fasting.

      The move, announced Sunday by the city-state’s Economic Development Department, is the latest change aimed at boosting tourism in the autocratically ruled Muslim nation.

      The state-run WAM news agency said: “Restaurants will be allowed to serve customers without putting in place curtains, dividers or facades as has been the mandatory practice previously."

      In previous years restaurants have been told "to block dining areas from the sight of those who are fasting".

    • Debbie White

      JERUSALEM FILLED WITH LANTERNS & RAMADAN DECORATIONS

      Colourful lanterns and ornate Ramadan decorations fill the streets of Jerusalem – as Palestinians prepare for a holy month freer of Covid restrictions than at the height of the pandemic.

      The mood in the Old City was far more joyful than last year when prayers were suspended at the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.

      Although Jerusalem is still without foreign tourists, far more people were roaming the Old City, where shops reported brisk business.

      “Because of coronavirus, the situation has been bad for the merchants and the people.

      "Now with coronavirus vaccination, the situation got better,” said one shopper, Mohammad Abu Sbeih.

      Reuters pic of the decorative streets in Jerusalem
    • Debbie White

      NEW RESTRICTIONS TO COINCIDE WITH RAMADAN IN TURKEY

      Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has today announced several new restrictions and a "partial closure" for the first two weeks of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to curb surging coronavirus infections.

      The weekday curfew has been extended, and he announced limitations on intercity travel and public transport.

      Erdogan also banned all events in closed spaces until after Ramadan. He said some grades would go back to online schooling.

      The new measures will go into effect on Wednesday night and the steps will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

      Turkey ranks fourth globally in new coronavirus cases, which hit nearly 56,000 on Saturday – a five-fold jump from early March. On Monday the health minister warned of a "third peak" in the pandemic.

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