Muslims around the world begin fasting for Ramadan

Chaudry talks with WAVE Now anchor Maira Ansari to discuss Ramadan traditions and the Muslim religion.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 2:02 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Thursday is the first day in the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims.

Many Muslims observe Ramadan by fasting from sunup to sundown, which means no food, water, or sexual relations during that time frame.

Ramadan is also a time to engage in acts of charity, kindness, and forgiveness. Muslims believe that, during the month of Ramadan, the Prophet Muhammad was given the Qur’an, Islam’s holy book.

Zainab Chaudry from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, also known as CAIR, said Ramadan is not about starvation; it’s about strengthening your spirituality and closeness to God and being a better person.

“Here in the United States, we see more community building, interfaith activities, interfaith Iftar opportunities for people who have never gone to a mosque or don’t know much about Islam or Muslims to be able to connect with neighbors and Muslims colleagues and have conversations and engage in dialogue,” Chaudry said.

Louisville’s Interfaith Paths to Peace and Muslim Americans for Compassion is hosting the 13th annual Iftar dinner on March 28 at Louisville’s Second Presbyterian Church.

The annual Interfaith Iftar is an opportunity for non-Muslims to join our Muslim friends for an evening meal as they break their Ramadan fast.  The event includes presentations by community peacemakers followed by a traditional Middle Eastern meal. For more information, click or tap here.

CAIR encourages schools and employers to accommodate people who are fasting and give them time off for their holiday celebrated at the end of Ramadan, called Eid-ul-Fitr, where people come together to pray and speeding time with friends and family.

If someone who is not observing Ramadan wants to greet a co-worker or friend who is, they can say “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem.”

Many Muslims say it is OK for people who do not observe Ramadan to eat and drink in front of them.

For more information on Ramadan, click or tap here.