Ramadan day timetable: What day of Ramadan is it today?

The coronavirus has changed the face of Ramadan this year, as many activities have been cancelled in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. The Saudi Arabian government said it would uphold a ban on all congregation prayers in the country – including Taraweeh – which is a set of special prayers which take place during the holy month.

What day of Ramadan is it today?

Today, Tuesday, April 28, is the fourth day of Ramadan as it began on Saturday, April 25.

On this day, the prayers fall at different, earlier, times than the previous day. Iftar, which is when Muslims break fast, will fall at 8.20pm – one minute later than yesterday.

Sehar, which is the morning prayer and eating before the fast begins, will fall at 3.10 am – four minutes earlier than yesterday.

Eid al-Fitr, which is the celebration to mark the end of Ramadan, is expected to take place on Saturday, May 23 or Sunday, May 24.

Just like the start of Ramadan, this is subject to an official moon sighting, so it is best to check with your local Mosque for Eid timings.

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What are the five pillars of Islam?

The pillars are five obligations that every member of the Islamic faith must honour in order to live a good life according to Islam.

The five pillars are: 

  • Shahadah- Sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith.

Shahadah means the belief “there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God”, and is central to the Islamic faith.

This phrase, traditionally written in Arabic, is often prominently featured in architecture and a range of objects, including the Qur’an – the Islamic holy book.

A person becomes a Muslim by reciting this phrase with dedication and faith.

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  • Salat – performing ritual prayers in the proper way, five times a day.

Muslims must pray facing Mecca five times a day. These prayers take place at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and after dark.

Prayer includes a recitation of the opening chapter (sura) of the Qur’an, and is usually done on a small rug or mat made exclusively for this purpose.

Muslims can pray individually at any location, or together in a Mosque where an Imam will lead the congregation.

Men gather in the mosque for noonday prayer on a Friday, while women are invited, but not obliged to take part.

After the prayer, a sermon focuses on a passage from the Qur’an, and is followed by prayers from the Imam and a discussion of a religious topic.

  • Zakat – Paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy

In accordance with Islamic law, Muslims donate a fixed portion of their income to community members in need.

Many rulers and wealthy Muslims build mosques, drinking fountains, hospitals, schools, and other institutions both as a religious duty and to secure the blessings associated with giving charity.

  • Sawm – fasting during the month of Ramadan.

During the daylight hours of Ramadan, the ninth and holy month of the Islamic calendar, all healthy and practising adults are required to abstain from food and drink.

Through fasting, Muslims are able to renew their awareness and gratitude for everything Allah has given them.

This gratitude extends to the Qur’an, which is believed to have been first revealed to the Prophet Mohammad during the month of Ramadan.

Throughout this month, they share the hunger and thirst of the less fortunate as a reminder of their religious duty to help others.

  • Hajj – making a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Every Muslim whose health and finances permit are expected to make at least one pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, which is situated in present-day Saudi Arabia.

The Ka’ba is at the centre of Mecca and is a cubic black structure covered in black embroidered tapestries and hangings. This holy structure is located at the heart of the Haram Mosque.

The Ka’ba has particular religious significance to Muslims as they believe it is the house Abraham (Ibrahim in the Qur’an) built for God. They face in the direction of the Ka’ba when they pray.

Since the time of the Prophet Mohammad, worshippers from across the world have gathered around the Ka’ba in Mecca on the eighth and twelfth days of the final month of the Islamic calendar.

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