Friday, August 29, 2008

Ramadan 2008

Ramadan is the holiest month on the lunar Islamic calendar — a time for fasting, taming human passions, and developing compassion for those less fortunate ("O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may aquire self-restraint " Qur'an 2:183).

For Muslims worldwide, the start of the month is based on sightings of the moon, as well as other astronomical calculations.

Ramadan begins on August 31, 2008 and ends on September 29, 2008 for North, Central and South America. However Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Australia start on September 1. The Night of Destiny (Night of Power) will be on September 25, 2008 for the Americas, God willing. It will be one day later (September 26, 2008) for the rest of the world.

The new moon times to be used for determining the beginning and ending of Ramadan are given below for UT (Universal time) – also called GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

7:58 p.m. on August 30, 2008 (UT/GMT)

8:12 a.m. on September 29, 2008 (UT/GMT)

The information reported is based on data from the U.S. Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications Department.

The actual time for each time zone is relative to UT.

To calculate the Ramadan start date, compare the time of the New Moon with the Sunset in your location. If the new moon is born before sunset, you should fast the next day God willing. *

Similarly to determine the last day of fasting, compare the time of the next New Moon with the sunset in your location. If the new moon is born before sunset, the month of Ramadan is complete on that day.

More details on Ramadan including information about why the calculation is done as above (i.e., the beginning of the day is at sunset) is available in an article on Ramadan.

  • 1st Ramadan (Fasting Begins) September 01, 2008
  • Lailatul-Qadr (Night of Power) September 26, 2008
  • Eid-al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) October 01, 2008
  • Yaum-al-Arafah (Day of Arafaat (Hajj)) December 07, 2008
  • Eid-al-Adha (10th Zul-Hijjah) December 08, 2008

  • Ramadan Information Center - One stop browsing for Ramadan prayer timetables, a database of mosques searchable by U.S. state, Quran study lessons, daily live webcasting of Taraweeh and the pre-recorded Taraweeh prayers from prior years held in Makkah, plus Q&A on Ramadan, Taraweeh, Laylatul Qadr, fasting and Zakatul Fitr, and live Webcasts, video presentations and more with paid membership.

    Ramadan - Excellent interactive resource for community events in Great Britain featuring prayer timetables for major UK cities, Ramadan recipes, kids stories, activities and coloring pages, e-cards, plus audio files of dua for fasting and breaking fast.

    BBC Religion & Ethics - Ramadan - Excellent collection of stories, traditions, recipes and observances of Ramadan around the world, photo galleries, multimedia guide, e-cards, related links.

    Essentials of Ramadan, The Fasting Month - A virtual encyclopedia of traditions and customs including the complete fasting tradition, the giving of alms, nightly prayers, and observing the end of Ramadan. Includes glossary of terms, bibliography.

    Islamic Holidays & Observances - Ramadan - Quick overview of its meaning with information on spiritual aspects as well as community customs, foods, and traditional wishes for Ramadan in Turkish and Arabic.

    Ramadan - Fact Sheet for Teachers - Lesson plans and ideas for the classroom including information on the lunar calendar, fasting rituals, key people and places, vocabulary words, suggested student activities, and a list of discussion questions.

    101 - A selection of Ramadan e-cards, inspirational quotes, related links.

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    Ahmed said...

    I would like to mention that a new system is set up to help Muslims and all the world to determine the exact date and time of the new moon!
    For more information go to where all the information is displayed and explained!
    May ALLAH bless you

    Dave Lucas said...

    Thanks Ahmed! One coulde also check with an Imam at a mosque in his or her local area.

    Howard said...

    I have a simple question - and it's not meant to offend anyone. If the days of Ramadan are based on the sighting of two consecutive new moons, why is Ramadan 30 days and not 28 ie a lunar month? Is one day added on at either end? I would appreciate any explanation.

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