By: Nazmul Noyim, Follow South Jersey Intern
SOUTH JERSEY – Ramadan is the month in the Islamic religion when Muslims fast daily from sunrise to sunset. And at the end of the month is the Islamic holiday Eid-Al-Fitr which will be on April 21 or 22, depending on the waxing crescent moon sighting.
The purpose of this ritual is for a Muslim to become more disciplined, and experience the hunger of people in starvation. During this month practicing Muslims are prohibited from eating food and drinking liquids every day. Ramadan starts with the sighting of the New Crescent moon approximately 11 months after the end of the previous Ramadan month. Due to the moon cycle not being exact with the calendar month, every year Ramadan is about 10 days before the previous year’s date. For instance, last year it started on April 1, and this year on March 23.
Along with fasting, there are other duties devoted Muslims are expected to fulfill. Such as performing the five daily prayers, attend the “Jummah” prayer which is held every friday afternoons, attend the nightly Ramadan prayers, avoid sinful acts, and donate to charity. A household is expected to donate 2.5% of the savings.
At the end of this enduring month of Ramadan comes Eid-Al-Fitr, the Islamic holiday that Muslims celebrate with family and friends by feasting on traditional cuisines. The day begins with Muslim families in the communities attending a unified holy prayer in the morning. After the prayer, everyone greets one another with the phrase “Eid Mubarak,” which translates to “Blessed Festival.”
After a month of restricting food, the Muslims have a feast during Eid..Throughout the day families and friends visit one another’s homes to eat. Men, women, and children can be seen wearing Islamic traditional clothes. Families often give each other gifts, and children receive cash from adult family members and relatives.
Camden County has a growing muslim population. There are six major mosques, and each one of them will be holding the Eid prayers.
GCLEA mosque at Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Al-Manar Mosque and Learning Center at Blackwood
Al-Bayan Islamic Learning Center at Bellmawr
Lebrate Delaware Valley Islamic Center at Clementon
Muslim American Community Mosque at Vorhees
Also, these mosques are holding an “Itikaf,” which is an abundance of worship in the last 10 days of Ramadan. Worshippers can choose to stay at the mosque for the entire 10 days to pray, recite the Islamic holy book “The Quran,” and other Islamic based studies.
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