Ramadan is a sacred month of the year for Muslims. The Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) reportedly said. “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven open and the gates of hell closed and the devils are in chains.” The holy month of Ramadan Kareem comes around every once a year. Just like the entire Muslim population globally, Muslims are much excited for Ramadan 2020 UK. For a whole month of fasting, prayers and that serene feeling that lingers in the air. The entire Muslim community observes a fast during daylight hours with the breaking of the fast at sunset. According to the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is the 9th month. Since this calendar runs for 354 days, 11 days less than the Gregorian calendar. As a result, the Muslim Ummah experiences Ramadan 10-11 days earlier than the previous date annually.
When is Ramadan 2020 UK?
This year, we shall welcome Ramadan 2020 UK on Thursday, 23rd April 2020 till Saturday, 23rd May 2020. Followed by the festival of Eid-Ul-Fitr, a gift from Allah Almighty for the Muslims, for showing patience and abstinence during Ramadan Kareem.
Why do we say Ramadan Mubarak/Ramadan Kareem?
Other than fasting, some cultural activities highlight the beauty of this month. Such as using the phrases, “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem”. A direct translation of Mubarak means blessed or blessing while Kareem translates to generous. Therefore, Ramadan Mubarak translates to a greeting of having a “blessed Ramadan” while Ramadan Kareem translates to have a “generous Ramadan.”
How does fasting in Ramadan 2020 work?
Fasting is not just a practice rather an act of spiritual cleansing – Other than abstaining from food and drink, Muslims also devote more time to prayer and acts of charity, striving to improve their self-discipline. Muslims are expected to make more effort to follow Islamic teachings. Ramadan Kareem is a time of spiritual contemplation, self-improvement, and increased dedication and worship. It is said that the act of fasting separates the heart from earthly practices, aim to be to cleanse the soul by liberating it from unhealthy impurities. If someone chooses to eat or drink during the fasting part of the day for any reason or involve in activities that are prohibited, the fast becomes invalid.
“In His infinite mercy, Allah has sent the light of Ramadan to erase the night. He has sent the month of the Qur’an so that He might elevate us and bring us from our isolation to His nearness.”
― Yasmine Mogahed
You can learn more about fasting and its traditions (Here).
What is permissible while fasting?
- You’re required to clean your mouth and nose with limited water so you don’t drink it. It invalidates the fast if you do so.
- During your fasting period, you should take a shower, as you may feel thirsty, dehydrated or hot. So make sure you don’t swallow the water, though.
- Swallowing your saliva, dust, or let’s say sifted flour by accident is allowed and won’t invalidate your speed.
- If you just taste a portion of food but don’t swallow it and rinse it away, it’s acceptable and it’s still valid for your fast.
- Women can apply Kohl or Kajal.
What is a typical day like in Ramadan 2020?
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam; all Muslims must observe this practice. However, ill, pregnant or nursing, menstruating, traveling, children till a certain age and elderly are exempt from it. During Ramadan Kareem, Muslims wake up well before dawn to have a meal, well-known as “Suhoor” or Sehri, Sahari and Sahur in other languages. Having this meal means until sunset they shall abstain from food or drink. At dawn, the Morning Prayer is performed and then everyone goes about their day normally despite not having anything to eat or drink the entire day!
However, with some of the longest hours of daylight in the world Ramadan 2020 UK, this summer can last up to 20 hours, making hydration and concentration one of the biggest issues. Hence, don’t forget to drink lots of fluids.
At sunset, with the evening prayer i.e. Maghreb, Muslims break their fast by having a meal at “Iftar”. Afterward, a special prayer at the Mosque held for those who want to participate. This process continues the next day up until the crescent moon of Shawwal comes insight.
Ramadan 2020 UK: Culture and Traditions
Muslims from all over the world who live in the UK have not forgotten the religious rituals and social customs they follow during Ramadan 2020. UK’s inclusive culture has made ample room for Muslim communities to exercise their practices openly and observe the holy month. You quickly get a sense of the religious and cultural history that Muslims carry from their homelands with them. The social custom of sharing visits, eating in coffeehouses and visiting malls is also in the UK during Ramadan. Members of the Muslim community in Southeast Asia in London stay open late for the Holy month. This is particularly true of UK’s Asian Muslim communities. Muslims in the UK with their rich traditions and global connections make Ramadan a joyous and colorful experience.
Beautiful traditions from around the world during Ramadan
Across the globe, Muslims celebrate Ramadan Mubarak with vibrant celebrations that are unique to their region and passed on through generations. Such as the announcement of Suhoor by drummers, in Turkey. The Nafar roams the streets of Morocco – a town crier who, wearing the typical Gandora dress, slippers and a scarf, marks the dawn with his melody. Cannons fire for Iftar in Lebanon, children singing for sweets in the UAE similar to the western concept of Trick or treating or, the tradition of Haq al Laila and many more.
What can I do to be respectful of my Muslim friends during Ramadan 2020?
Ramadan and Eid are largely faith-driven periods founded on spirituality and culture. There are several ways you can adapt around your Muslim friends such as,
- Avoid asking irrelevant questions like, ‘Will you lose weight?’ ‘Should I skip my meal in solidarity?’ Of course not, you don’t have to walk on eggshells around us. It’s okay for you to eat/drink as long as you’re respectful about it.
- You don’t have to fast with us, as it is not just a hobby but a religious compulsion.
- You don’t need to know every bit of detail about it since the dates bounce from year to year. Also, if we can’t answer all of your questions, it does not make one a lesser Muslim; try to do your research.
- Through lack of sleep, food, and drink, we feel cranky (even hungry). Don’t try to take it personally. Yet ask how you can be helpful!
By the end of Ramadan 2020 UK
Every year in the UK, we greet Ramadan with a combination of emotions from the enthusiasm and hope to determination. A promise of our sins forgiven and of countless blessings coming our way. Similarly this year, by the end of Ramadan 2020, we should ask ourselves some important questions to strengthen our faith. Is our fast with true belief and complete surrender to God? Are we doing this because God has put it on us or merely because we have been used to it since our childhood? Let’s spend this year reflecting and re-affirming our faith to spread the true spirit of this blessing by the Al-mighty.