Muslims Start Fasting Across North America

By A Correspondent
Majority of Muslims in the US and Canada will start fasting from tomorrow. (Pakistan Week photo)

The holy month of Ramadan started across the US Monday, March 11, ushering in a period of fasting, spiritual reflection, and religious observance for millions of Muslims across the United States. Some pockets of Muslim communities acorss the US and Canada started fasting a day later, as they may prefer to follow local moon sighting.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide through daily fasting from dawn until dusk. Beginning tomorrow at first light, Muslims in the U.S. will join the global Muslim community in this annual act of faith and devotion.

Islam’s two holiest mosques in Saudi Arabia issued a statement, saying “the crescent of Ramadan 1445/2024 has been sighted in Saudi Arabia. Subsequently, Ramadan 1445/2024 begins tomorrow, March 11, 2024. Taraweeh Prayers will begin in the Two Holy Mosques after Isha Prayers.”

“Ramadan is a blessed time that allows us to strengthen our relationship with Allah (God) through self-discipline, sacrifice, and increased worship,” said Ramzan Ali, a Queens-based techie “It’s an opportunity to develop greater empathy, humility, and gratitude.”

With an estimated 3.45 million Muslims in the country, Ramadan holds immense significance for Islamic communities nationwide. Mosques and Islamic centers have been preparing for weeks, making arrangements for nightly community iftars – the evening meals where Muslims break their daily fast together after sunset.

“Ramadan is not only about abstaining from food and drink,” said Fatima Khan, a college student in New York City. “It’s a time for spiritual purification, performing extra acts of charity, and strengthening the bonds within our community.”

While fasting is one of the core tenets of Ramadan, the holy month also involves an increase in prayer, reading of the Quran, and acts of compassion and generosity. Many Muslim organizations across the country have planned food drives, fundraisers, and volunteer initiatives to serve those in need during this blessed period.

For Muslims in professional and educational settings, Ramadan can present unique challenges. However, many employers and institutions have implemented policies and accommodations to support their Muslim staff and students, such as providing prayer spaces and flexible schedules.

As the sun sets tomorrow, Muslim families and communities across the nation will gather for the first iftar of Ramadan, marking the beginning of this sacred month-long journey of spiritual renewal, community building, and religious observance.

BIDEN’S RAMADAN MESSAGE: President Joe Biden issued a message for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, saying that as Muslims gather around the world for the fasting month, “the suffering of the Palestinian people will be front of mind for many.”

“It is front of mind for me,” he adds.

“The sacred month is a time for reflection and renewal. This year, it comes at a moment of immense pain. The war in Gaza has inflicted terrible suffering on the Palestinian people,” said the president. “Nearly two million Palestinians have been displaced by the war; many are in urgent need of food, water, medicine, and shelter.”

The US, he said, will continue to “lead international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza and “continue working non-stop to establish an immediate and sustained ceasefire for at least six weeks as part of a deal that releases hostages.”

Washington will also “continue building toward a long-term future of stability, security, and peace” that includes “a two-state solution to ensure Palestinians and Israelis share equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity.”

“That is the only path toward an enduring peace,” he added.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This article beautifully captures the significance of Ramadan for Muslims in the United States, highlighting the diversity within the Muslim community and the various ways in which individuals observe and celebrate this holy month. It underscores the importance of religious freedom and accommodation in professional and educational settings, reflecting America’s commitment to honoring diverse religious practices. It’s heartening to see communities coming together in solidarity and compassion, embodying the true spirit of Ramadan.

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