The Muslim month of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam, begins today, August 22nd. Ramadan is the ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar, the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to Mohammed, the Prophet.
But it is not all as easy as it sounds. For the last few weeks I have been in contact with my Arab neighbours and in particular, with the owner of my local Halal corner shop to find out exactly when and how. After a number of different dates, it was confirmed only yesterday that the Islamic fast of Ramadan would begin today, at least here in Mallorca.
Ramadan traditionally begins when the first new crescent moon (hilal) of Ramadan is sighted. Thus, Ramadan fasting in Mallorca started before daybreak this morning.
The observance of fasting during Ramadan constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam. The prayer times during Ramadan vary from place to place, according to the position of the moon. Five daily prayers are obligatory during Ramadan, but the extra faithful can earn extra karim points by praying a sixth time during the hours of the night.
The photo was taken in Manacor, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: June 13th, 2008. The time was 22:03:17. The photo shows members of the Sufi community in Manacor publicly performing some Sufi chants.