Ramadan, a month of special spiritual importance to Muslims, began and the community is looking forward to being able to celebrate it together.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar calendar and it’s the month where all adult Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. It is also the anniversary month of the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book.
“It is one of the five pillars of Islam… it’s very significant because in the month of Ramadan, according to our faith, every good deed is rewarded by God, multiplied 70 times,” said Syed Soharwady, the founder of Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.
“People are very much encouraged to do a lot of good deeds.”
Children, pregnant women and the elderly are exempt from the fasting, but they have to feed people who are hungry or poor in compensation for every fast they miss, according to Soharwady.
“Ramadan reminds all of us that there are people in the world who do not have food, who do not have clean water… so the concept of fasting is to develop a tender heart and to feel the pain and the sufferings of those people.”
In the evenings, Muslims gather to break their fast with the iftar, evening meal, and pray, reciting the entirety of the Qur’an throughout the month. Due to the pandemic, worshippers haven’t been able to gather in large groups due to health restrictions.
“With the lifting of most public health measures, the faithful can once again gather in homes and mosques to celebrate, pray and reflect on (God’s) words,” said Premier Jason Kenney in a statement. “May you find deeper meaning in the Qur’an and may iftar each evening bring you closer to those around you, filling your soul with gratitude, compassion and love.
“I wish all Muslims a wonderful Ramadan, as this most holy of months arrives.”
“We are very happy that this Ramadan those restrictions have gone, we can pray shoulder to shoulder, we can share our iftar,” added Soharwady.
In Alberta on Saturday, the fasting will last nearly 15 hours and by the end of the month on May 1, will last around 17 hours.