Many Scouts throughout the world will welcome the Holy month of Ramadan tonight, May 15th, with the first night of Taraweeh prayers. A special prayer during the month of Ramadan, a month spent in Fasting and additional worship, intended to elevate spiritual observance and to help Scouts enrich their Duty and Reverence to God. We encourage Parents and Scout Leaders to have their Scouts to participate in the Ramadan Quest program.
According to the Fiqh Council of North America, the announcement for Ramadan is based upon the following that Ramadan, 1439 AH, the Astronomical New Moon is on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 11:47 Universal Time. On that day, somewhere in the Pacific Ocean at sunset, the elongation is 8 degrees and moon is 5 degrees above the sun. Therefore, the first day of Ramadan 1439 is on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, insha’Allah. First Tarawih prayer will be on Tuesday night.
The Eid ul-Fitr, for 1439 AH, is based upon that the Astronomical New Moon is on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at 19:43 Universal Time. On that day there is no place on earth where at sunset the elongation is 8 degrees and moon is 5 degrees above the sun. Therefore, Shawwal cannot start the next day. Hence, the first day of Shawwal 1439 is on Friday, June 15, 2018, insha’Allah.
Due to some differences in juristic opinions among Muslim scholars, some Scouts may begin and end Ramadan on slightly different days. Scout leaders should be aware of this fact and proceed appropriate in serving their Scouts.
Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic Lunar calendar and is marked by the sighting of the waxing crescent moon and ends with the sighting of the waxing crescent moon of the following month, Shawwal. The period of time for Ramadan is thus 29 or 30 days; never any longer or any shorter than that. Fasting during Ramadan begins at Dawn which is well before sunrise and ends at Sunset. Most Muslims use prayer schedules and apps to assist them in precisely identifying the calculated prayer times. Muslims refrain from all food and drink during the fasting period. Young children, elderly, individuals who are sick, traveling, and women who are breastfeeding, pregnant, or who are menstruating are exempt from fasting.
Courtesies to extend to Muslims during Ramadan:
- Greet them with “Ramadan Mubarak”. The meaning of which is “Happy Ramadan”. At the end of Ramadan, when they begin to celebrate the Eid ul-Fitr, you can wish them “Eid Mubarak”, which simply means “Happy Holiday”.
- Refrain from eating or drinking around Muslims but of course, if you do, it’s not necessarily offensive. Consider helping them out by not reminding them by the sights and smells of food. Think of how you might feel when you are hungry.
- Empty stomachs can have odorous side effects. Unfortunately, a fasting individual can’t take a mint or chew gum to counter the issue. In all sincerity, they do practice good oral hygiene. Just be patient.
- Muslims are Java people do. Therefore, they might be going through their own withdrawals of not having enough caffeine and especially with the long days during the summer, extra worship activities, they might show some signs of fatigue. Do your best to engage them in a supportive manner. Muslims are everyday people, striving to improve themselves. They’re far from perfect, so don’t expect that. Achieving patience, takes patience.
- If a Muslim invites you to an Iftar, fast breaking meal, consider yourself a lucky person. Come on time and come with an empty stomach. Unless they ask you to bring some food, there is no need. Usually there will be more than enough and you will probably go home with some left overs.
- Many Muslim Scouting units hold Scout Iftars. Contact your local Muslim Scouting unit and find out when their Iftar is. They would love to have you.
If you need help in finding a Muslim Scouting unit or if you are a Muslim Scouting unit and you are holding a Scouting Iftar and would like to share information about your event, feel free to let us know. If you have any questions, comments, or an event you would like to share, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or share a post about your event to our Facebook page or join our Facebook group to share and discuss more.