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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Muslims begin Ramadan

Ireland’s 45,000 Muslims begin daylight fasting for the holy month.

Mosque in Dublin
Image: Wikipedia/GNU Free Documentation License

THE MOST important date in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, began at sunrise today and will continue for the next month.

Most of Ireland’s 45,000 Muslims will be expected to observe the religious fasting during the holy month, which this year will run slightly a little longer (as it follows the lunar calendar) and end on 9 September.

Muslims are called upon to use this time to re-evaluate their lives, focus on their relationship with god, and to give to charity. During daylight hours, Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs.

Older people, pregnant women, and children are exempt from fasting during Ramadan.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam – along with the belief in one god, daily prayer, giving to the needy, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Nightly prayer is also part of Ramadan and a special prayer is held each night at the mosque.

See the Ramadan timetable for your area here and more information on Islam in Ireland here.

Meanwhile, Apple has launched an iPhone app to help Muslims during Ramadan – it will let believers browse the Qur’an and ensure that they are facing Mecca during prayer time.  While the technology has been welcomed by some, others fear that it may lead to the commercialization of the holy month in much the same as many Christians feel Christmas has been exploited.

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