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Muslim community marks start of Ramadan

Muslims across Gibraltar will today mark the start of Ramadan, a religious tradition where Muslim’s fast for a month to cleanse their sins and learn about personal sacrifice.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and relationships from dawn until sun set for a month. The fast is intended to bring Muslims closer to God and remind them of those that are less unfortunate.

Ramadan starts on a different day every year and moves forward 12 days each time as the Muslim calendar relies on a new moon.

Khaoula El Andaloussi explained that Ramadan can take around 20 years to move through the calendar year.

She told the Chronicle Ramadan serves to “strengthen beliefs and faith”, and also aims to make people humble.

On average Muslims in Gibraltar will fast for around 17 hours a day for a month.

Mrs El Andaloussi added Ramadan teaches discipline and shows people would have dependencies on alcohol or smoking that they do not need these substances.

The religious tradition also serves to reunite families as people sit together waiting for the call of prayer nightly at around 10.30pm.

At the end of Ramadan, she added, people should finish with a clean mentality and an “erased sin book”.

Ramandan will continue throughout the month and is expected to end in mid-June depending on the new moon.

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