October 4, 2005
Washington, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) extends its best wishes to the Muslim community on the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one pillar of the five pillars of Islam.
The five pillars of Islam are five obligations that every Muslim should strive to satisfy. The pillars include: Shahadah, sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith; Salat, performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day; Zakat, paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy; Sawm, fasting during the month of Ramadan; and Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca, if possible.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar (which explains why the dates on which it falls change yearly). During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, as well as abstain from other activities. The purpose of the fast, is to express empathy and understanding of and with those less fortunate. Therefore, Ramadan is also an opportunity for Muslims to make charitable donations.
On this occasion ADC encourages its members and friends to participate in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, as well as giving alms to other charities.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt marked the first day of Ramadan today, while Muslim Americans will start fasting on Wednesday, October 5. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) announced that Ramadan observance would begin on Wednesday.
For more information on Ramadan customs and traditions please see http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/features/ramadan/index.shtml
October 4, 2005