At home and around the world, the holy month of Ramadan is a time to consider one’s character, strengthen bonds between loved ones, develop empathy for the destitute and grow closer to God.
While its character remains unchanged, its timing doesn't. Because Islam follows the lunar calendar, each year Ramadan comes 10 days earlier. Every third year, it moves back a month. This year, Ramadan began on Friday, July 20.
The Q’uran directs believers to abstain from food, drink and other sensory pleasures, beginning each day as soon as one "can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daylight," and until darkness falls. The fast ends with a three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr.
Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam.
Mosques also have special prayers, called taraweeh, after the nighttime prayer. In the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadan, Muslims mark Lailat ul-Qadr ("Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny").
Local mosques are hosting interfaith iftars (fast-breaking meal) and other social activities to which the entire community is invited.
Saturday, July 28
Ramadan Open House, 7pm
Hosted by the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California
1433 Madison St., Oakland
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramadan Open House. 6pm
Hosted by the Islamic Center of Alameda
901 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda
RSVP to email@example.com
Saturday, Aug. 4
Ramadan Open House, 6pm
Hosted by the Islamic Society of the East Bay
33330 Peace Terrace, Fremont
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information is available by contacting CAIR-SFBA by phone at 408.986.9874 or by at email@example.com.