Sunday, 29 June 2014

Ramaḍān رمضان‎ 2014


Ramadan fast to start Sunday
The Hari Raya Light Up 2014. Photo: Christie Yeo

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said today (June 27) that the first day of fasting for Ramadan will begin on Sunday (June 29).

In a statement, Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, the Mufti of Singapore, said: “According to astronomical calculations, the crescent for the month of Ramadan this evening did not meet the criteria agreed upon by member countries of MABIMS (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore).”

As such, the last day of the Islamic calendar month of Syaaban would be on Saturday, and the first fasting day for the month of Ramadan is on Sunday, he said.


In celebration of Ramadan
Hari Raya Puasa, and the month of Ramadan that precedes this day of rejoicing, is deeply rooted in tradition and religion. From 27 June 2014, the Geylang Serai area will be decked in bright, colourful lights to mark the iconic month-long annual light up in celebration of Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa.

This year, the Hari Raya Light Up 2014 committee - made up of representatives from cultural and religious organisations, grassroots and community leaders as well as stakeholders from Geylang Serai and Kembangan-Chai Chee area - aims to deepen the understanding of the significance of Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa and provide an enriching experience of the rich tapestry of Malay culture and traditions, to inculcate awareness in Singaporeans and tourists alike.

At a media conference held earlier today, the committee shared upcoming event details to engage members of the public on a learning journey towards four themes which encapsulate the significance of Hari Raya - 1) The Dynamic Spirit of Gotong Royong (A Malay expression to describe cohesiveness towards the betterment of a community) 2) The Rich History of Geylang Serai 3) A Vibrant Culture and Community 4) The Religious Significance of the Hari Raya Celebrations.

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Ramadan in Singapore
Sultan Mosque is the focal point of Arab Street

Around 15 percent of Singapore’s citizens are Muslims, meaning the city-state, along with much of Southeast Asia, celebrates the month of Ramadan.

Singapore’s Arab street and Kampong Glam area, historically the Muslim quarter of Singapore, is bustling with activity during Ramadan. A visit to Arab Street ideally starts at Sultan Mosque, built in 1824 and considered the national mosque; visiting hours typically end at 16:00.

During Ramadan, the mosque hosts Iftar, the breaking of the day’s fast at sunset, and Terawih, special Ramadan nightly prayers, along with other mosques and allocated prayer areas across the island.


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Ramadan Celebrations With Education

The organizing committee of this year’s Ramadan celebrations in Singapore is making sure that the youth who lack adequate knowledge of Islam, gain some knowledge this year. According to their plans they will educate the youth thru an interactive Web portal, social media pages, a video competition and a WhatsApp service that will allow the youngsters to get free Quran teaching services and daily tasks from administrators. The committee has also enlisted the help of interest groups and members from the Private Islamic Educators Network to help spread this awareness. A new Ramadan Frequently Asked Questions guidebook was also produced.

According to Channel News Asia there will be the usual Islamic education classes for the young, prayer workshops, Quran literacy programmes, as well as outreach efforts targeting homes in areas such as Telok Blangah and Bukit Merah. Mr Khalid Shukur Bakri, chairman of the celebrations, said mosque leaders’ research has shown there is a need for them to do more to educate the Malay-Muslim community, especially the young crowd, such as those who have not attended religious classes, for instance. Those who do not understand Islam or have inadequate knowledge of it may have a different mindset and might not be “giving the right messages or advice to their friends”.

“They may have a different view ... of Islam so whatever they would say on Facebook, whatever they would point out to their friends, might not be the actual or right thing according to Muslim teaching,” he said.Speaking to reporters after the launch of the celebrations, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, noted that youth today are exposed to many distractions. “It’s the peer-to-peer kind of connection that we want to encourage ... using the platforms that young people are comfortable with,” he said.


Educating Muslim youth about Islam key focus of Ramadan celebrations
An-Nahdhah Mosque

Concerned about the inadequate knowledge of Islam among Muslim youth, the organising committee behind this year’s Ramadan celebrations is making this segment a key focus.

This will involve new media initiatives such as an interactive Web portal, social media pages, a video competition and a WhatsApp service that allows youth to get free Quran teaching services and daily tasks from administrators. The committee has also enlisted the help of interest groups and members from the Private Islamic Educators Network to help spread the message to youth. A new Ramadan Frequently Asked Questions guidebook was also produced.

On top of that, there will be the usual Islamic education classes for the young, prayer workshops, Quran literacy programmes, as well as outreach efforts targeting homes in areas such as Telok Blangah and Bukit Merah.


Reaching out to Muslim youth on social media this Ramadan

New activities for this year's Ramadan were launched by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim on Sunday morning, at the Ahmad Ibrahim Mosque in Sembawang. -- ST PHOTO: AUDREY TAN

Muslim organisations are using social media platforms this year to reach out to more Muslims, especially Muslim youth, about the significance of Ramadan. Ramadan, a month of prayer and reflection which Muslims commemorate by fasting, starts on June 29.

Muslims will be encouraged to use the hashtag #ramadansg to tag Ramadan-related pictures on Instagram. There will also be video clips and cartoons on the religious significance of Ramadan found on Facebook pages Ramadan.sg and IE4ALL (Islamic Education for all).

Volunteers will also be canvasing the streets to raise awareness on Ramadan by capturing "moments" using a Polaroid camera. These photos will then be uploaded to Instagram or Facebook. Muslims may also sign up to join a Whatsapp group that will help them study the Quran, with group administrators of the chat listening and correcting pronunciations of the Arabic scriptures using the voice note function on the mobile application


S$69,000 donation for mosques ahead of Ramadan
The Singapore Buddhist Lodge and Inter-Religious Organisation Singapore are collaborating to organise a Ramadan charity project for the Muslim community

Singapore Buddhist Lodge made a S$69,000 donation for all 69 mosques in Singapore, accompanied by 20 tonnes of rice for mosques and Muslim organisations.

This came ahead of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims, to further promote harmony between the different faiths in Singapore.

For the second year, the Singapore Buddhist Lodge and Inter-Religious Organisation Singapore are collaborating to organise a Ramadan charity project for the Muslim community.

Start of Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is considered as a holy month when the Quran was revealed for the first time. All Muslims around the world are obliged to fast from the dawn until sunset for the whole month of Ramadan. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the start of Ramadan is observed as a public holiday.

When is the start of Ramadan 2014? The Start of Ramadan 2014 falls on Saturday, 28 June 2014 in some countries/region and on Sunday, 29 June 2014 in some others. In UAE, the first of Ramadan may fall on Sunday, 29 June 2014.

Please note that the start of Ramadan date is usually an estimate. The start of Ramadan is determined through moon-sighting, and the exact date of the 1st of Ramadan in Gregorian calendar is usually announced one or two days before the date.


Ramadan 2014

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting. It lasts either 29 or 30 days based on the sighing of the cresent moon. Muslims have to refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking and sexual relations; and in some interpretations from swearing.
Arabic: رمضان‎ Ramaḍān, IPA: [rɑmɑˈdˤɑːn];
Persian: ‎ Ramazān, Ramezũn;
Urdu: Ramzān; Turkish: Ramazan)
Ramadan 2014 will start on Saturday, the 28th of June 2014 and will end on Sunday, the 27th of July 2014, it has a duration of 30 days.

Where does the word Ramadan comes from? It comes from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means scorching heat or dryness.