Ramadan 2024: What is Ramadan, when is the Islamic holy month and how long do Muslims fast? List of iftar and Muslim community events in Yorkshire

Muslims worldwide are currently observing their holiest month of the year: Ramadan - here is everything you need to know about Ramadan and a list of iftar and Muslim community events taking place in Yorkshire.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims all over the world as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer (salah), reflection, and community.

The yearly observance of Ramadan is considered as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and fasting is compulsory for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, pregnant or menstruating.

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The pre-dawn meal is referred to as suhur, and the feast at night that breaks the fast is called iftar.

Muslims gather to perform the Eid Al-Fitr prayer. (Pic credit: Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images)Muslims gather to perform the Eid Al-Fitr prayer. (Pic credit: Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images)
Muslims gather to perform the Eid Al-Fitr prayer. (Pic credit: Oli Scarff / AFP via Getty Images)

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is known as one of the holiest months of the year for Muslims and it is when they commemorate the revelation of the Qur’an.

During the observance month, Muslims fast from food and drink during the sunlit hours as a way to get closer to their God and gather self-control, gratitude and compassion for those less fortunate.

During Ramadan, Muslims spend extra time reading the Qur’an and praying. A Muslim family normally wakes up before dawn and eats a simple breakfast-style meal called suhur. At sunset, family members break the fast with a few dates and water, and depending on their traditions, other light foods like soup, appetisers or fruit; this is referred to as iftar which translates to ‘breaking the fast’.

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After the family performs sunset prayers, they eat dinner together and invite guests to break the fast with them or visit someone else’s house. Many families visit the mosque for the night prayer and a special Ramadan prayer called Taraweeh.

When is Ramadan 2024?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on a 12-month lunar year of around 354 days.

This year it began on the evening of Sunday, March 10 and will conclude on Tuesday, April 9.

The lunar year is 11 days shorter than the solar year, so every lunar month moves 11 days earlier every year.

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How long do Muslims fast for during Ramadan?

All Muslims, who have reached puberty, fast from pre-dawn to sunset, between 11 to 16 hours depending on the time of year for a period of 29 to 30 days.

Fasting includes no food and drink and abstaining from sex during sunlit hours. It is also a time when they avoid any negative acts such as gossiping, backbiting, lying or arguing.

While children are not required to fast, it is tradition for children, starting from the age of seven, to perform restricted or symbolic fasting such as fasting half days or on weekends.

Ramadan and Muslim community events taking place in Yorkshire

NCS Community Ramadan Iftar

Date: Wednesday, March 13, 2024 from 5pm to 7.30pm

Location: Womenzone Community Centre, 19-21 Hubert Street, Bradford, BD3 9TE.

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What’s on: People gather together for a youth community iftar with activities and food, young people of 16 to 17 years old can attend.

Miracle of Salah: Special course for Ramadan

Date: Saturdays on March 16, March 23 and March 30 from 3pm to 4.30pm

Location: 120 Worksop Road Sheffield S9 3TN.

What’s on: The course educates visitors about the importance of Salah for a Muslim.

Open Iftar Event - Bringing Communities Together

Date: Friday, March 22 from 4pm to 8pm

Location: Co-op Academy Leeds, Stoney Rock Lane, Leeds, LS9 7HD.

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What’s on: It is a gathering of diverse communities to celebrate Ramadan together with food from a range of cuisines.

Community Iftar

Date: Monday, March 25 from 5.30pm to 8pm

Location: Hamara Healthy Living Centre, Tempest Road, Leeds, LS11 6NB.

What’s on: The iftar event is where friends and neighbours gather together to break fast.

The Islamic Fascination With Domes

Date: Thursday, March 14 from 6.15pm to 7.30pm

Location: University of York, Heslington, YO10 5DD.

What’s on: This lecture will educate guests on the popularity of domes in Islamic architecture and will challenge why domes were so common from the early Islamic period to modern times.

Creative Mind's Iftar 2024 Events

Date: Friday, March 15 from 6pm to 9pm

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Location: Newport Community Hub, St Pauls Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 5NQ.

What’s on: Annual iftar events where both Muslims and non Muslims are invited to share a meal while having conversations around fasting and Ramadan.

Ramadhan Recharge

Date: From Friday, March 22 at 7.45pm to Sunday, March 24 7.30pm

Location: The Eden Centre, 2 Highfields Road, Huddersfield, HD1 5NG.

What’s on: An annual retreat.

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