We answered the Ramadan questions you’ve been wondering about

‘Can you even drink water?’

Most people have heard about the holy month of Ramadan, but don’t know what it is about or are afraid to ask their Muslim peers. But fear not fellow Bruins, because we have gathered a concise list of everything you need to know about Ramadan.

What is the month of Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, where Muslims fast for a whole month from dawn to sunset. Because fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, it is an obligation that unifies Muslims from all over the world.

‘Not even water?’

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain completely from eating, drinking, and smoking. Even cursing and performing sexual activities is discouraged.

Is fasting the only part of it?

Simply refraining from drinking and eating during Ramadan is not enough. Praying the mandated five prayers a day – plus the optional, but highly encouraged “taraweeh” and “qiyam” – is crucial for the proper completion of Ramadan. Also, performing good deeds, such as donating money to those in need, feeding the poor, and volunteering in orphanages and nursing homes is emphasized.

 

Why do you fast?

The goal behind fasting during Ramadan is to purify and humble one’s intentions. During this month, we are reminded that amidst our busy lives, we should thank God for the infinite blessings that he has bestowed upon us. This time is used to reevaluate our life choices, practice patience, think of the world-stricken poverty, cultivate a communal bond, give back to charity, and remind ourselves of the greatness of God.

Is it healthy, or even humanly possible to fast for 30 days?

“Is it even possible to fast for 16 hours in Los Angeles? OMG, I would die! ” Muslims fast anywhere from 10-20 hours a day, depending on each country’s time between Fajr prayer and Maghrib prayer. Fasting is proved to be beneficial for health: it lowers bad “LDL” cholesterol levels, increases good “HDL” levels, helps overcome addictions such as smoking, and promotes weight loss.

What happens at UCLA during Ramadan?

UCLA’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) hosts Iftarthe time when Muslims break their fast, on campus and everyone is invited to share the spiritual and unifying experience of feasting together. Ramadan Services are also provided at the UCLA medical centers. Dates and water are offered from 7:45 to 9:30 p.m in the dining commons at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Café Santa Monica at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. UCLA’s Residential Restaurants such as Covel Commons and De Neve also provide special meals to accommodate.

Can only Muslims share the spiritual experience of Ramadan?

Absolutely not. Anyone can experience fasting during this month, whether you are inquisitive about what it stands for or supportive of your Muslim friends. EVERYONE is always invited.

What happens after Ramadan is over?

After Ramadan, Muslims from all over the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, which the universal holiday that marks the completion of the 29-day or 30-day fast. During this Holiday, Muslims perform Eid prayer, get together with their loved ones, and enjoy getting back to their normal eating habits: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and most importantly, coffee!

How do I greet Muslims that are fasting during Ramadan?

Simile and say, “Ramadan Kareem/Mubarak!” Smiling is actually an essential attribute in Islam, especially because the Prophet Muhammad used to always smile.

How can Bruins get involved?

UCLA’s MSA community offers a unified and loving perspective towards anyone who wants to learn more about Ramadan and/or Islam. Do not hesitate to stop by, and say hello.

Ramadam Kareem, Bruins!

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