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8243Ramadhan News

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  • Zafar Khan
    Sep 9, 2007
      More on Ramadhan at:

      "The UK 1984 formula and Saudi Umm Ul Qura give
      Ramadan start date as 13 September" - Zafar Iqbal, UK
      astronomer. However click here for Observatory data.


      Groundbreaking conference on Moon Sighting


      “And for the moon we have appointed measured
      phases, until it turned (pale, curved and fine) like
      an old branch of date palm. [39] Neither it is for
      the sun to overtake the moon, nor can the night
      outpace the day. Each one is floating in an orbit.”
      [40] Surah Yasin

      Ilaahi Masjid, Hope Street, (7th July 2007) hosted a
      debate on the methodology adopted in the UK for
      determining the start of Islamic months. The
      discussed the various methods currently in use and the
      difficulties and disunity this creates. The aim of the
      event, as pointed out by one of the speakers, was not
      to score points by declaring one methodology better
      than another. It was to look at the various
      arrangements currently in place and try and reach a
      consensus that was acceptable to most people.

      Moonsighting Conference
      May 5-6, 2007
      San Jose, California


      On the 5th and 6th of May, 2007 the Bay Area in
      Northern California was host to the First National
      Moonsighting Conference. The Conference was organized
      and sponsored by the South Bay Islamic Association
      (SBIA) based in San Jose, California. The purpose of
      the conference was to develop sound criteria to
      validate moonsighting reports. Various speakers from
      across the nation were invited to present their ideas.
      This paper is an attempt to summarize the main ideas
      presented at the conference and the resolutions that
      have been reached. It should be noted that the report
      is structured chronologically therefore any
      contradictory remarks on behalf of the speakers are to
      be disregarded and the resolution signed by the
      participants towards the end of the report is to be
      considered the final conclusion.

      Ramadan Charity Dilemma for US Muslims


      DETROIT, Michigan — With the holy fating month at the
      doorsteps, many US Muslims are perplexed where to
      channel their Ramadan charities amid a continued
      government crackdown on Islamic charities and
      suspicious treatment of leading minority
      "People in the Muslim community are scared," Mohammad
      Alomari, administrative director of the Life for
      Relief and Development Charity, told Agence
      France-Presse (AFP) on Sunday, September 9.

      "They have to give zakah. But how do you give it? Do
      you give it only to the mosque? Do you give it to a
      friend who takes it overseas? The avenues of giving
      are narrower."

      Alomari's organization is one of a backlog of
      charities targeted by federal authorities in the wake
      of the 9/11 attacks six years ago on claims of
      channeling funds to groups the Bush administration
      designated as terrorist like Palestinian Hamas and
      Lebanese Hizbullah.

      Egypt Hikes Spur Early Ramadan Bags


      CAIRO — Anticipating skyrocketing prices in Ramadan,
      Egyptian philanthropists are now racing to buy as many
      as of the traditional aid packages and distribute them
      among the poor ahead of the dawn-to-dusk fasting
      "With two weeks to go, we went to several summer
      resorts, which are teeming with holidaymakers every
      August," Amira Ismail, from the Al-Risala charity,
      told IslamOnline.net Saturday, September 1.

      "We received generous donations to buy foodstuffs
      preempt price hikes," she added.

      Her charity is catering for nearly 30,000 poor
      families, basically in the slums of Cairo and

      "We are used to distributing a million packages every
      year," said Amira.

      Ramadan, Counterculture, and Soul


      Each religion has a history. Among the aspects common
      to most of them is the fact that seasons of fast have
      long been part of their spiritual regimen. For
      millennia sages of diverse experiences have offered
      insights, esoteric and practical, on the benefits
      associated with voluntary deprivation for a specific
      time and for a transcending purpose. They have
      expanded on how the molecular realm of food and drink,
      for example, connects with the intangible realm of
      will and choice and of gratitude and conscience, and
      how certain sublime knowledge comes only to those who
      have mastered their desires. But nestled among the
      insights there may also be an indictment especially
      germane today: apparently, there is something
      corrupting about going through a full year in this
      life without some major interruption in habit, a break
      from conformity, that helps us to step outside our
      cartoon world. Ramadan, the Muslim season of fast, is
      such a disturbance.

      Towards a healthy Ramadan


      Millions of Muslims are now getting ready for the
      coming holy month of Ramadan and planning to change
      their habits. To prepare for the change in our routine
      life, we must be aware of any health implications,
      specially for the people who are on medication or have
      any other medical conditions like diabetes.

      Health issues during Ramadan also affect the elderly,
      the weak, women who are pregnant or nursing their
      babies. Being aware of the health issues and getting
      prepared appropriately will help you to make the best
      deal of the holy month. So you can spend it focusing
      on worship instead of dealing with health problems.

      Along with food and drink, oral medication and some
      kinds of injections invalidate fasting of Ramadan.
      Therefore, it is important to discuss with your doctor
      about your medication to change the dosage schedule to
      accommodate your fasting during Ramadan. For example,
      taking the medicine before seheri and after iftar must
      be approved by the concerned doctor.

      If you are a diabetic and want to fast, it is
      important to be assessed by your doctor to ensure
      physical fitness by controlling diabetes.

      Most of the diabetic muslims have strong desire to
      fast during the month of Ramadan. If they cannot
      perform it due to diabetes, they have a valid
      exemption. Fasting during Ramadan of Muslim diabetic
      patients is not obligatory, but this is a privilege to
      be allowed by their physicians.

      Muslim scholars recommended that blood tests for
      glucose monitoring and taking insulin do not
      invalidate the fasting of Ramadan.

      Diabetologists suggest that diabetic patients who take
      oral hypoglycemic drug once daily, should take the
      medicine immediately after iftar at a low dose.
      Patients who take oral medicine more than one time
      daily should reschedule the dosage in the morning and
      at night (of regular time) respectively to after iftar
      and 30 minutes before sehri.

      Patients who take insulin, should adapt the dosage
      schedule of insulin prior to Ramadan after consulting
      with a diabetologist. Usually long-acting basal
      insulin is safer and recommended during Ramadan
      fasting. It should be administered after iftar at a
      higher dose and at sehri time at a lower dose.

      Other medication of diabetes should be continued as
      per the advice of physician.

      Patients should be taught home glucose monitoring,
      checking urine for acetone, doing daily weights,
      calorie-controlled diabetic diet, need for sleep and
      normal exercise.

      They should be able to take pulse, temperature, look
      for skin infection and notice changes in the sensorium
      (mental alertness). They should be on special alert
      for any sign of dehydration, and should seek medical
      help quickly rather than wait for the next day.

      Pregnant and nursing women are exempted from fasting
      if they have any health concern of themselves or their

      Advice should be sought from doctors who can evaluate
      any specific concern. The doctor could also assist
      pregnant women to plan their meals so that they
      receive adequate nutrition during non-fasting hours to
      avoid fatigue.

      Expecting mothers also have to be particularly aware
      of their intake of fluid for the nourishment of their
      upcoming babies.

      As we fast for most of the day, we should eat slow
      digesting foods so we have a consistent amount of
      energy throughout the day.

      Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while
      fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.
      Slow-digesting foods are those containing grains and
      seeds like wheat, unpolished rice (called complex
      carbohydrates), barley, oats, millet, semolina, beans,
      lentils, whole meal flour. Fast-burning foods are
      those containing sugar and white flour (called refined

      Foods that contain fibre include whole wheat, grains
      and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, spinach,
      and the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with
      skin, dried fruit, especially dried apricots, figs,
      prunes and almonds.

      The food should be balanced i.e. fruits, vegetables,
      protein e.g. Meat, chicken, fish, carbohydrate e.g.
      Bread, cereal and dairy products.

      Most of the fried foods are not so healthy and should
      be limited. They may cause indigestion, heart-burn and
      weight problems.

      Changing your habits
      Due to less intake of coffee or tea during working
      hours, who are habituated in caffeine may suffer from
      headache, dizziness or fatigue during the first week
      of Ramadan.

      They can also experience the unpleasant effects of
      sudden caffeine withdrawal, which can also include
      irritability, nervousness, anxiety and nausea.

      You can minimise or avoid these symptoms by drinking
      lighter brews and gradually reducing your caffeine
      intake by the month before Ramadan.

      It is also recommended that you drink plenty of water
      as a substitute and exercise regularly.

      Quitting smoking
      If you are a smoker, you can take the necessary steps
      to stop smoking this Ramadan. This will allow you to
      gain the full benefit of this holy month and will be
      an important step towards restoring your health.

      The atmosphere surrounding Ramadan helps one to have
      more discipline and strive to be a better Muslim in
      all aspects of life. It is an ideal time to give up
      smoking once and for all.

      Muslims prepare for Ramadan, their month of fasting
      September 8, 2007 - 4:40AM
      Lawn Griffiths, Tribune


      Although the month of Ramadan is still five days away,
      Abdelmoneim and Amal Mabrouk and their seven of nine
      children still at home have already been practicing
      fasting, to suppress their eating habits and direct
      their hearts away from worldly activity.

      The Chandler family recognizes struggles ahead when
      they will go without food or beverage from daybreak to
      sunset for a full month.

      “It’s a good practice for you,” says 11-year-old
      Yessen. “In the first days, it’s really hard because
      you’re not used to it, and then after 10 days, you are
      still struggling.” During the last 10 days of the
      Islamic holy month, Mabrouk family members practice a
      custom of sleeping the night at the mosque. It comes
      with great anticipation of completing the full month
      of fasting, the third pillar of Islam.

      Ramadan will likely begin on Thursday, although
      Islamic sky gazers must detect the first sliver of the
      New Moon with the naked eye, as is tradition, to make
      it official. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar,
      Ramadan comes about 11 days earlier each year because
      Islam follows a lunar calendar. In the course of 33
      Western calendar years, the Islamic year goes full
      circle. Ramadan is also a month when Muslims commonly
      read the entire Quran anew. Prayers are said nightly
      at all mosques, with a recitation of a 30th of the
      Quran each evening so that it will be completed in the

      Now, Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere brace for
      their fasting month moving more and more into the
      hottest months of the year, prompting greater thirst.

      Muslims are reminded that the Prophet Muhammad began
      the revelation of the Quran during the month of
      Ramadan in A.D. 610.

      The four Mabrouk sons are in stride to one day have
      the holy Quran set to memory in Arabic. In fact, the
      oldest, Mohamed, 16, a senior at Tempe’s Corona del
      Sol High School, has already accomplished that. He had
      previously debated whether to go out for football or
      go to the mosque four to six times a week for
      intensive two-hour study that includes memorizing the
      Quran. His bedroom wall displays his certificates from
      that study, along with a bumper sticker, “Even a smile
      is charity.”

      “It was tough because I really wanted to play football
      and basketball and go out for the team,” Mohamed said.
      Classes were 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “I had to choose one, so
      I ended up choosing Quran because football is just a
      seasonal thing, but the Quran is going to stay with me
      forever.” His goal is to graduate and go to Egypt and
      spend seven years studying Sharia, or Islamic law, and
      possibly become an imam and lead a mosque somewhere.

      In June, a south Tempe mosque certified Mohamed after
      he was tested on Quran memorization and recitation

      “Actually, it is the most memorized book in the whole
      world,” he said. “That’s more difficult in America
      because there isn’t a mosque right around the corner”
      for learning.

      He says he still reviews the Quran to maintain that
      skill and teaches children at the mosque. “If I go to
      the mosque and the imam isn’t there, they usually push
      me forward and say, 'You do the prayers,’ ”
      Mohamed said.

      Children, along with the sick, elderly, pregnant or
      traveling Muslims, do not have to fast during daytime
      hours. “I don’t have to fast, but I try to fast,” said
      9-year-old Yousef, who typically holds off eating or
      drinking for half a day. He eagerly awaits the iftar,
      or evening meal, when the family breaks that day’s

      Their custom is to start out eating several sweet
      dates, or sometimes soup, to ready the stomach for the
      first food since before daylight.

      “During Ramadan, my mom makes really good food like we
      don’t normally have other days,” Yousef said, smiling.

      Eman, 19, a community college student who hopes to go
      into medicine, will come home from school early each
      afternoon to help her mother prepare the evening meal,
      refraining from even tasting what they are cooking.
      “It’s always a big feast, like a turkey dinner at
      Thanksgiving,” she said.

      Eman said fasting teaches her self-control and

      Fasting also causes people around her to inquire.
      “When people talk to me, I say, ’I’m fasting,’ ”
      she said, and that leads to a conversation. “It gives
      you an opportunity to tell them about Islam.”

      Hana, 15, said she refrains from talking much while
      she fasts to reduce dry mouth and thirst. “I’m just
      really disciplined by the end of the month,” she said.
      Eating less during Ramadan ”helps you feel for people
      who don’t have enough food.” Medical studies of
      Ramadan fasting have shown benefits, including a
      slowdown of basal metabolism, more efficient use of
      fat and changes in cholesterol.

      At high school, Hana said she and her fasting friends
      spend their lunch hour hanging out at the library or
      classrooms “or somewhere away from the food — or we
      just walk around.”

      The Mabrouk children acknowledge that their parents
      expect them to strictly follow Islamic teachings. “My
      dad really wants to push me because he knows there are
      greater rewards in it,” said Taha, 13. “He wants that
      for me, so I shouldn’t reject that. I should take the

      The Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School student said he
      reads his Quran lesson, usually one page, seven times
      in a row “so I have the rhythm.” Once he has mastered
      the rhythm, he said, memorizing comes easily. He
      admits he doesn’t always grasp the full meaning of the
      text, noting that the “slang Arabic” that his family
      uses at home differs from the formal Arabic of the

      “The main thing is to prepare the kids to be good
      citizens in the country,” said Abdelmoneim, father of
      five daughters and four sons, ages 7 to 22 and all
      born in the U.S.

      “Ramadan is always a special month to me — it is a
      blessing month,” the Alexandria, Egypt, native said.
      “It is a spiritual, educational and social month to

      Especially during the month, the family seems to
      constantly be going or coming from a mosque for
      classes and prayers, he said.

      His wife, Amal, becomes excited in talking about the
      month. “Ramadan is the best of the best. It is very
      spiritual to me,” she said. “It is gathering a lot of
      family and friends together. You go to the mosque
      every day for the prayers. ... It is very bonding for
      us.” She said it’s an extra challenge raising their
      family in a society where Islam is a minority
      religion. “They go to public school where they don’t
      celebrate (things Islamic),” she said. “When they go
      there and it is lunchtime, they become very
      frustrated. We are fasting. We cannot eat, and when
      they come home, we have to keep them very patient. You
      try to keep them busy until sunset.”

      “For me, as a mom, I try to cook everyone something
      they like,” she said.

      All in all, Amal said, “the people here are nice,
      actually,” and they respect what Muslim parents are
      trying to instill in their children.

      Valley Muslims will gather in one place on the final
      day of Ramadan, Oct. 13, for Eid al-Fitr (Festival of
      the Breaking of the Fast) prayers. Afterward, they
      will gather together in festive meals and exchange

      Sunday, September 09, 2007
      Ramadan starts September


      SOME four million Muslims in Mindanao will join other
      Muslims in the world for a month long Ramadan to start
      this September.

      Aleem Mahmod Mala Adilao, ULAMA Regional Chairman at
      Kapihan sa PIA, said they will make the final
      announcement on September 11 at 9 p.m. over radio
      station dxDC.

      Ramadan teaches self-discipline, righteousness
      Published: Saturday, September 8, 2007


      Muslims in the Valley, as well as everywhere around
      the world, are preparing for the fasting the month of
      Ramadan starting Thursday.

      Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar calendar,
      which is 10 or 11 days shorter than the solar
      calendar. Ramadan is considered a sacred month in
      which the glorious Quran, God's word, was revealed to
      prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him) for
      the first time more than 1400 years ago.

      Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other
      four pillars are:

      The testament of faith (to declare that there is no
      God but Allah and Muhammed is His messenger).

      Offering the five daily prayers (dawn, noon,
      afternoon, sunset and night).

      Paying Zakah (alms), which is an obligatory charity
      that the Muslim must pay once a year (2.5 percent of
      one's wealth) to the poor and needy.

      Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca once in a lifetime for
      those who are physically and financially capable to do


      Fasting means to refrain from eating, drinking and
      marital obligations before the break of dawn until
      sunset. It is obligatory for adult Muslims. Exempt
      from fasting are young children, the elderly, pregnant
      women and nursing mothers. Travelers and sick adults
      may break their fast then make up for the missed days
      later on.

      Ramadan is a monthlong school that teaches
      righteousness, self-discipline and self-control.
      Ramadan is a month of mercy, tolerance and
      forgiveness. It is an eye-opener and self-experience
      of what the less fortunate, the poor and the needy,
      are enduring and experiencing in their everyday lives.


      Diabetes leaflet lauched for Ramadhan
      By Asian Image reporter
      11:40am Saturday 8th September 2007


      An information leaflet giving advice to people who
      will be taking medicines for diabetes during Ramadhan
      has been launched.

      It came in response to an idea put forward by
      Community Pharmacists Maqsud Patel and Riaz

      Lindsay Holden, Head of Medicines Management, for
      Blackburn with Darwen Teaching PCT says, "We are aware
      that Ramadhan is a special month in the Islamic
      calendar, during which Muslims fast during daylight
      hours and this means the timing and nature of dietary
      intake is considerably altered.

      "To manage diabetes, it is important to control diet
      and take medication and this can often be a problem as
      during fasting no medication is taken.

      "Consequently we took the decision to publish this
      easy to follow guide to help patients who have
      diabetes to manage their condition whilst fasting.

      "We expect high demand for the leaflet as the
      prevalence of diabetes in the Asian population is much
      higher than the general population and continues to

      advertisementCommunity Pharmacist, Maqsud Patel said,
      "The booklet Diabetes and Ramadhan' was produced in
      consultation with local GPs, mosques and the East
      Lancashire Diabetic Network.

      "It gives practical advice on dietary measures and
      medication and includes information to assist patients
      in making more informed choices on the food they eat,
      medication matters and advice on possible
      complications and remedies."

      Lindsay Holden adds, "Managing medicines during
      Ramadhan can be very difficult and because of fasting
      many people do not take them at all. This booklet is a
      welcome development as people with diabetes need
      information to help them manage their condition. "

      Labs explore health effects of Ramadan
      By Emily Anthes, Globe Correspondent | August 20,


      Next month, observers of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan
      will fast daily between sunrise and sunset, and feast
      thereafter, while scientists in a handful of labs
      around the world will examine what's happening inside
      their bodies.

      Ramadan, it turns out, has become a useful phenomenon
      for researchers studying circadian rhythms -- and what
      happens to the body when they are disrupted.

      During Ramadan, Muslims eat and get more active just
      when their bodies are used to winding down, creating
      sleep disruptions, hormonal changes, and sometimes
      mood impacts.

      "Their biological clocks are no longer in harmony with
      their watches," said Yvan Touitou, a chronobiologist
      at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris.
      "Ramadan is capable of desynchronizing people."

      Touitou's research has illustrated that Ramadan can
      alter the usual circadian patterns of cortisol, a
      stress hormone, and testosterone, with sharper
      decreases of these hormones in the morning and later
      rises at night -- though the impact of these rhythm
      disruptions is unclear.

      The holiday also changes the schedule of the release
      of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite and
      weight, and decreases the peak levels of melatonin, a
      hormone released at night to induce sleep.
      Interestingly, despite the disruption in leptin and in
      daily eating patterns, Ramadan rarely causes
      significant changes in body weight. Investigating why
      this is the case could yield useful insights into
      human energy metabolism, said Tom Reilly, a sports
      scientist at Liverpool John Moores University in
      England who has studied circadian rhythms and Ramadan.

      "Normally, your body clock is affected by the
      alternation of light and darkness -- light is the
      signal to become alert. With Ramadan, fasting is
      obligatory at exactly the time the body is gearing up
      for activity," Reilly said. "It's an exact reversal of
      the usual pattern."

      Florian Chapotot, a neuroscientist at the University
      of Chicago, found that subjects showed an overall
      decrease in the amount of sleep they got during the
      holiday -- not surprising given that typically,
      Ramadan adherents often fit in two or three meals
      between sunset and sunrise.

      What was most interesting, Chapotot said, was the
      finding that subjects also spent a smaller proportion
      of their sleep time in slow-wave and REM sleep, both
      of which "are important because they have restorative

      It's still not clear, however, whether sleep
      disruptions are a result of changes in melatonin
      secretion, other physiological rhythms or behavioral
      patterns during the holiday.

      The effects of all these physiological changes are
      unknown. Research has shown that motor skills, such as
      reaction times, muscle, and learning performance
      decrease significantly during the holiday and that
      sleepiness and traffic accidents increase. But
      scientists are investigating whether these changes are
      direct results of circadian rhythm disruption.

      And despite its usefulness, Ramadan is difficult to
      study, partly because of the sheer number of
      variables. The month, part of the lunar Islamic
      calendar, moves forward by about 11 days every year,
      and the length of daily fasting can range from 12
      hours upward, depending on location and time of year.

      Additionally, those who observe the holiday have
      wildly different ways of coping with the altered hours
      -- some take naps during the day and stay up most of
      the night, while others only slightly alter their
      usual sleeping patterns.

      "The use of Ramadan as a chronobiological model is a
      little bit messy. We cannot get control of all of the
      variables," Reilly said. But, "it's a beautiful field
      experimental condition."

      © Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company.