The Month of Ramadan


During this month, Muslims all around the world follow their own calendars set to the timings they need based off the time in which the sun sets and rises where they are.

Malieka Khan, Photojournalist

As of May 15, Muslims all around the world have begun to fast. This is seen as a religious duty to many Muslims both strict and not strict. It is written in the Quran, the sacred book that Muslims believe God had sent a Prophet down to supply his people with, that they must fast to fully be grateful and honor the food that they have. So, every year for centuries, Muslims have fasted for  an entire month, a full 30 days, only being able to drink and eat when the sun is down.

Fasting is when a person does not eat or drink anything until a designated time, and to Muslims, this time is stated as when the sun goes down and rises. This means that daily, Muslims wake up before the sun rise, eat, then must stop at a certain time till the sun sets, when they can eat again. The time before the sun rises is called Seri, this is traditionally when families wake up at around 3:30am and can eat till a very specific time such as maybe 4:17am on a certain day. Once 4:17am hits, these people cannot eat nor drink anything, including water, until the sun sets later that day. The sun setting and the breaking of fast is called Iftari. This also takes place during a very specific time the second the sun goes down. This year the timings are anywhere between 7:46pm and 8:07pm. Everyday these times change meaning one day Iftari would take place at 7:48pm so the next day, Muslims break fast at 7:49pm. The timing for Muslims is quite important due to the fact that in the Quran it states how these specific times must be followed and if they are not then the entire day of fasting does not count.

Usually to break fasts, there are certain foods that are universally eaten first. Dates are a specific food that Muslims all around the world eat first and therefore break fast with. From there traditional foods throughout the east and southeast are served after prayer. Usually Iftari takes place with a small plate of food to break the fast, then it is time to pray. After these prayers is the main course of food where rice and chicken and kebabs alike are all served. These feasts and the breaking of these fasts bring a sense of communion within the Muslim community all throughout California. The mosque in Yorba Linda was recently moved, however they still host their weekly Iftaris every Saturday as a time for Muslims all throughout Yorba Linda to meet up and talk and have a fun time breaking fast and praying together. These have taken place for over ten years and have always been a place of welcome and safety to those who want to break fasts and have a feeling of comfort since so much of the time these families never see one another.

The entire month of Ramadan is not only built on the foundation of thankfulness and honoring of the food and water we have daily, but also a time in which Muslims all around the world have a time where they are all one. This month brings people together like no other since boys are out till 12:00am praying and women are cooking for hours to have food to serve and they all can relate on how these days feel. Muslims see this time as a time to come together and stand strong while having a sense of pride and gratefulness all at once for their religion and the people around them who feel and believe the same.