Ramadan Starts June 18 in North America
Muslims in North America will welcome the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Thursday, June 18, according to astronomical calculations.
“[The] first day of Ramadan will be Thursday, June 18, 2015,” reads a statement by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) obtained by OnIslam.net.
The Muslim body said the Ramadan moon will be born on June 16.
“The Astronomical New Moon is on June 16, 2015 (Tuesday) at 14:05 Universal Time (5:05 p.m. Makkah time). Sunset at Makkah on June 16 is at 7:04 p.m., while moonset is at 6:56 pm,” FCNA statement added.
“Moon is born before sunset in Makkah and moonset is before sunset. Therefore first day of Ramadan is not on June 17, but is on June 18, 2015 (Thursday), insha’Allah.”
Quoting FCNA, the umbrella Islamic Society of North America also confirmed the beginning of Ramadan on June 18 in another statement published on the association’s website.
Ramadan is the holiest month in Islamic calendar.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.
Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.
The announcement comes as ISNA and its Green Masjid Task Force launched a campaign to encourage mosques and Islamic centers in the US to make their Ramadan more environmentally friendly.
The campaign suggests adopting five practices for this Ramadan including conserving food this Ramadan by giving excess food the people in need.
It also encourages Muslims to, “use biodegradable products for iftars and not Styrofoam cups and plates.
“Recycle material, especially plastic water bottles and replace all light bulbs with energy saver bulbs and thus conserve electricity.”
Encouraging mosques to adopt the five practices, the umbrella group urged mosque leaders to give a khutbah on the Islamic imperative to conserve and protect environment.
“Being sensitive to the harm that we do to our environment and committed to living in harmony with nature, we, as Muslims, must seek to implement practices and policies that are environmentally friendly,” ISNA’s President Azhar Azeez said in a letter to masjid leaders.
“So this Ramadan, let’s live up to our role as khalifah in the earth by Greening Our Ramadan.”
Although there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to between 6-8 million Muslims.