ECONOMYNEXT – Muslims in Sri Lanka will begin Ramadan fasting at dawn tomorrow (14) as the moon was not sighted over the island last night, the Colombo Grand Mosque said.
Muslims across the world commenced their month-long fast today, but Sri Lankan Muslims strictly commence fasting only after the new moon is sighted, which often results in a day’s difference.
The final evening of fasting this year in Sri Lanka will fall on either May 13 or 14 with Eid-al-Fitr celebrations depending on the length of the lunar calendar (a lunar calendar cycle is 29 or 30 days).
Ramadan is the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic lunar calendar. It is considered one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar. Muslims believe Allah revealed the first verse of the Quran, the holy book of Muslim, to Prophet Muhammed (PBH) through the angel Gabriel.
During this period, adherents refrain from eating from sunrise to sunset. The fast starts with a pre-dawn meal Suhoor (often between 3 am to 4 am) and is broken at sunset with a meal known as Iftar.
Observing fast is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a time where people are supposed to strengthen their relationship with God, refrain from all impure and worldly desires and involve in charity as much as a person could.
Muslims often recite the whole Quran during this month, attend special prayers known as Tarawih which is performed at night after the Isha prayer. However this does not mean that they can refrain from their usual activities.
Tomorrow marks two religious and cultural events in Sri Lanka, the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and Ramadan, for the second time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. (Colombo/Apr13/2021)