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Photo: Sebastiaan Whitward

This year Ramadan will run from approximately 24 March to 21/22 April. 

The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar calendar. Hence, the dates of each month, including Ramadan, are based on the moon sighting and will change every year. 

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. For practicing Muslims Ramadan is a month of soul purification to establish a relationship with the holy book, the Qur’an, and to reconnect with their creator, Allah. The goal of Ramadan is to improve oneself as a person, not merely to forego food and drink. The first daily prayer marks the beginning of the fast (about an hour before sunrise) and the fast is broken at the beginning of the fourth prayer each day (sunset). Muslims observe a 13–14 hour fast.

Photo: Sebastiaan Whitward

Things Muslims fast from:

  • Food
  • Drink
  • Intimate Activities
  • Gossip, Impatience, etc. 

There are exemptions and valid reasons as to why Muslims can skip fasts, including but not limited to; menstruation, traveling, chronic or acute illness and breastfeeding.

Photo: Sebastiaan Whitward

 Terms to know: 

  • “Ramadan” – name of the Islamic month 
  • “Eid ul-Fitr” – holiday to mark the end of Ramadan
  • “Ramadan Mubarak” / “Eid Mubarak” – well wishes, ‘Happy Ramadan’ and ‘Happy Eid’, respectively 
  • “Suhoor” – morning meal before the start of the fast
  • “Iftar” – meal to break the fast, traditionally starting with a date or water
  • “Taraweeh” – optional nightly prayers, lasting 0.5-2 hours

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) works to foster a sense of community among Muslim students at Stellenbosch University. 

Photo: Sebastiaan Whitward

“We wish to create a sense of “home away from home” as we’re aware that many Muslim students are living in residences away from their families”, says Tashreequah Begg, Postgraduate Marketing student on the media and marketing team of MSA.

“Our plans for Ramadan shall be to achieve the pleasure and satisfaction of our Creator, Allah SWT”, she continued. 

Photo: Sebastiaan Whitward

MSA will be hosting two Iftar (meal to break the fast) evenings planned for this year, the first Iftar was held on the 24 March and another later in Ramadan. All food and consumables will be sponsored by the MSA. The MSA will also be hosting daily Iftars at the JK (Jammat Khana – 4th floor in the Neelsie) which can be seen more as a “bring and share”. 

The MSA are planning to go out to sight the moon on the last evening of Ramadan (location TBA), which will determine whether Eid will be the next day or the day after.

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