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If you don’t practice Islam, you’re probably incredibly unfamiliar with the faith’s holidays, celebrations, and traditions outside of the call to prayer, the hijab, and maybe you know that Mecca is important. And maybe, perhaps because you live in Alabama (or at least in America) in a time of great cultural exchange and diversity, you have heard of Ramadan.
At least you’ve heard the word. You might automatically say that it’s a fast and that it lasts for a month. And no, that is not incorrect!
But it’s more than that. Ramadan is a month. It’s the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which starts months with the sighting of a crescent moon. During the month of Ramadan, fasting begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. The history behind the month is super interesting, also, not just because I am a religion major, but because stories of humanity and divinity and riveting and breathing, constantly occurring, and taking place all around us. If you want to know more about what happens during Ramadan, you can always do some online reading, but it isn’t my job to tell you to stay in. Check out the programming at the Birmingham Islamic Society. They have a craft and story time session that you can register for coming up on the 15th of June and on the 17th, there’s the Annual Qur’an Competition in which people recite the Qur’an from memory which is a treat to behold if you’ve never experienced one of these competitions.
And if you cannot attend one of these events, the BIS invites Birminghamians to join them in fellowship and (very, very good) food for Iftar, the break fast, just so long as you give them a heads up.