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Ramadan 101 & FAQs

Ramadan 101

What is Ramadan?

One of the most sacred months in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is observed as a month of fasting, reflection, and prayer. Many Muslims will fast from food & drink (including water) from dawn until some time around sunset. We estimate that nearly 400 of the Muslims at Duke will participate in the CML's Ramadan programming.

CML Ramadan Training (coming soon!)

Frequently Asked Questions

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Some Muslims calculate Ramadan ahead of time while others wait until the new moon is sighted the night before. Thus, the exact start date can vary within the Muslim community. The CML follows the opinion of the Fiqh Council of North American and the Triangle Imams Council on calculating when Ramadan will begin and end. Therefore, this year, Ramadan will begin the evening of March 10th and the first day of fasting will be March 11th. The last day of fasting will be April 9th with Eid celebrations beginning on April 10th.

Since the exact start date of Ramadan can vary within the Muslim community, refrain from broad language like "Ramadan starts today" or "Muslims are observing Ramadan today." Instead, use inclusive, precise language like, "Many Muslims will begin fasting today" or “The Center for Muslim Life will begin observing Ramadan on the evening of March 10th“ or "We wish the Muslim community Ramadan.

"Ramadan Mubarak!" or Happy Ramadan!" are most commonly used. Mubarak means "blessed" in the Arabic language.

Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 nights. The end date of Ramadan can vary within the Muslim community (just like the start date). Again, the CML follows the opinion of the Fiqh Council of North American and the Triangle Imams Council on calculating when Ramadan will begin and end. Therefore, this year, the last day of the last day of fasting will be April 9th with Eid celebrations beginning on April 10th.

Eid Al-Fitr is a celebratory holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Celebrations include a congregational prayer in the morning followed by festivities. Eid Al-Fitr is one of the most important holidays observed by the nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide. To wish someone a blessed Eid, say "Eid Mubarak!" or "Happy Eid!"

Be compassionate & develop intentional allyship:

  • Understand your blindspots! Approach questions with humble curiosity.
  • Educate & get curious: Attend a CML Ramadan training or do your own research.
  • Action: Understand needs during Ramadan and help accommodate. Check-in with students if they need accommodations while they're fasting. Provide to-go boxes at programs with food. Allow time & space for prayer.

Departments/organizations: if you would like to partially or fully sponsor an iftar, email hh198@duke.edu and js39@duke.edu!

Resources that the CML is providing:

  • Suhoor: a morning meal before dawn that Muslims have before they start their fast. The CML has worked with Duke Dining to provide suhoor bags for students.
  • Iftar: the meal that Muslims have around sunset time to break their fast. The CML provides this meal 4 nights a week at the Brodhead Center
  • Nightly prayer and programming 4 nights a week
  • Worked with academic deans to ensure students can request academic accommodations
  • Director and Chaplain Dr. Joshua Salaam will be available for chaplain services (e.g. spiritual counseling). CML staff are also available for student 1:1 meetings.