Muslims gear up for the holy month of Ramadan

July 8, 2013
Montreal, Quebec, July 8th 2013- Montreal's Muslim Community is preparing for the month of Ramadan, expected to begin Tuesday or Wednesday. To determine the official start of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar Calendar, the Moonsighting Committee will be meeting tonight after sunset to check moonsighting reports from around the world. The decision is expected no later than 10:00 PM.

“Ramadan is a spiritually uplifting and joyous occasion for all Muslims,” said Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “It is a time for Muslims to look inward at their hearts, to see how we can better serve God and all of humanity. Restraining from food and drink during the fast helps to open one’s heart to those in need, to engender compassion and mercy towards others, as well as to increase gratitude and appreciation for all of one’s blessings.”

“Ramadan is also a good opportunity for Canadians to learn more about Islam and Muslims and to help build bridges of understanding and respect in the community.”

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, with the other four being the declaration of faith, daily prayers, alms giving and the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Those fasting arise before dawn to partake in a pre-dawn meal called suhoor and the fast is broken at sunset with a meal called iftar. In addition to increased acts of worship and charity, Muslims also offer supererogatory evening prayers at the mosque, each night of the month.

The end of Ramadan is marked by the celebration of the Islamic holiday of Eid-al-Fitr. This is one of the two major celebrations of the Islamic year, the other being Eid-al-Adha, which commemorates the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Salam Elmenyawi
Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)
Ph.: (514) 748-8427
The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 300,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 1,250,000 in Canada and 1.9 billion worldwide.