From the Multifaith Chaplaincy: Ramadan

Dear Brandeis Community,

Ramadan, one of the most sacred months for Muslims, will start for most Muslims on Saturday, May 27th, 2017. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim lunar hijri based calendar year and its commencement is determined by a moon-sighting in which fasting will last for 29-30 days. Since it is based on a lunar chart, the month of Ramadan shifts approximately 11 days each year. It is also the month in which it is believed that the Holy Qur'an was sent down from heaven "as a guidance for men and women, a declaration of direction, and a means of salvation." During this month, Muslims observe a strict fast from dawn until sunset. They abstain from eating or drinking during the daylight hours. Fasting helps to develop skills of patience, perseverance and spiritual fortitude and heightens the awareness of sensitivity to the needs of others. At sunset, the fast is broken with prayer (salat and dua) and a festive meal called iftar. In the evening, following iftar, it is customary to visit family and friends and increase in various actions of worship or ibadat.

During Ramadan many Muslims go to the masjid or house of worship and spend a great amount of time performing additional devotional activities such as supererogatory prayers, recitation of Qur’an and litanies remembering God. In addition to the five daily prayers that are part of the core of Islam, Muslims recite a special prayer called Tarawih prayer (prayer of rest). On the evening of the 27th day of the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a special night called Layatul-Qadr sometimes referred to as "the Night of Power." It is believed that on this night the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) first received the revelation of the Holy Qur'an.

At the end of Ramadan, on or around Sunday, June 25th 2017, a feast called Eid al-Fitr/Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, is celebrated. It marks the end of the month of fasting. Gifts are exchanged and friends and families gather for festive meals and celebrations. Special gifts and alms are also given to the disadvantaged.

The Multifaith Chaplaincy of Brandeis University wishes to extend its blessing to all our Muslim students, staff and faculty. Ramadan Mubarak! - May your Ramadan be Blessed!

The Multifaith Chaplaincy
Rev. Matt Carriker, Protestant Chaplain, 781-736-3573
Allison Cornelisse, Pastoral Associate for Catholic and Spiritual Life, 781-736-3574
Rabbi Charlie Schwartz, Interim Jewish Chaplain, 781-736-8416
Maryam Sharrieff, Interim Muslim Chaplain, 781-736-8742
Rabbi Liza Stern, Interim Jewish Chaplain, 781-736-3672