The bless month of Ramadan for the hijri year of 1431 will most likely start at dusk on Tuesday, August 12 making the first day of fasting on Wednesday, August 13.
Since Tuesday will be the 29th day of Sha’ban, it is possible that the sighting of the moon may not take place in North America on Tuesday night, which would make Wednesday the 30th of Sha’ban, not the 1st of Ramadan. In this event, the first day of fasting will be on Thursday, August 14.
Please check with you local Islamic center for details.
*UPDATE ON WEDNESDAY AUGUST 11, 2010 AT 5:26 AM*
Due to the new crescent moon not being sighted in North America on Tuesday night, today is the 30 of Sha’ban. Thus Ramadan will start at dusk tonight, and the first day of fasting will be on THURSDAY, August 12.
Amid heat, Ramadan arrives
Muslims to fast from sunrise to sundown
Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
Detroit — Over the next four weeks during Ramadan, Sabreen Hanifa will be restricted to eating and drinking early in the morning before dawn and after sundown.
And this year, as with last year, an additional challenge will be the heat.
Hanifa, a 28-year-old from Detroit, is a Muslim and will join others worldwide at sundown Tuesday during the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, when the faithful embark on increased spiritual reflection and reach out to the poor through charitable giving, said Imam Mustapha Elturk of the Islamic Organization of North America in Warren.
But the daily fast comes amid one of the hottest summers on record. Daytime highs in Detroit are expected to be near 90 degrees through Saturday, with overnight lows in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service.
“”Water is the key,” said Hanifa, who attends Masjid Wali Muhammad in Detroit. “You don’t want to get dehydrated.”
The weather poses a concern among some local clerics, who fear it will prevent some people from attending nightly prayers or religious lectures, said Dawud Walid, the executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan and the assistant imam at the Masjid Wali Muhammad.
“This year will definitely be the most challenging for fasting,” said Walid.
Young children, the elderly and people with medical conditions are exempt from fasting.
In the last couple of years, Ramadan, for which the observance period fluctuates every year, has fallen on hot and humid months. The timing of Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar and occurs 10 days earlier every year. In the next few years, Ramadan will be observed during some very hot months.
For Ramzi Thabath, the owner Takbeer Fashions on Warren in Dearborn, suffering through the heat is part of the religious sacrifice that Muslims make during Ramadan.
Ramadan is an opportunity for Muslims to increase the awareness of God in their lives and for families to come closer when they gather for the nightly fast-breaking meal, or iftar, said Elturk.
“Family ties become closer during Ramadan when people get together for the meal,” said Elturk.
Ramadan ends around Sept. 10 with a celebration called Eid-al-Fitr.