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Muslims prepare for start of Ramadan in South Africa



During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and are not allowed to eat a morsel of food or even take a sip of water until sunset

The Islamic month of Ramadan in South Africa is expected to start on Sunday, 10 March.

This means Muslims will begin the first fast on Monday, depending on the sighting of the moon.

Islam follows the lunar calendar and the sighting of the moon signals the start of the Islamic month – In Islam, the new day also begins just after sunset.

If the moon is not sighted on Sunday, Ramadan will begin on Monday and the first fast on Tuesday.


During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk usually having a predawn meal before the fast begins.

Once the fast starts, Muslims are not allowed to eat a morsel of food or even take a sip of water until sunset when they break their fast.

Fasting is a spiritual discipline to abstain from bad actions including sexual relations, which nullify or break the fast.

The word Ramadan, which is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, means ‘the heat that scorches the earth or the heat that scorches a person when a person is fasting’.

The predawn meal to start the daily fast is called suhoor, while the breaking of one’s fast after sunset is called iftar.

ALSO READ: Ramadan: How WhatsApp can help you in the holy month


Ramadan begins 10 to 12 days earlier each year, because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar “Hijri” calendar with months that are 29 to 30 days long.

The number of hours for fasting in the holy month of Ramadan varies from country to country because the sunrise and sunsets occur at different times across different countries, and therefore, the number of daylight hours also differs.

While Muslim countries also have different greeting for Ramadan in their native languages, “Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem” are the most common greeting to express well-wishes on Muslims.

Food aid

Meanwhile, Forty tonnes of luxury dates, benefitting about 90 000 Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, will be distributed globally, in South Africa and surrounding countries across the African continent, the Religious Attaché and Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday

This is almost double the mount of dates that was distributed last year.

The initiative which falls under the supervision of the Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh  is part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s gift programme for distributing what it calls “break-fast” food for fasting people during Ramadan.

Last week, humanitarian organisations including the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) said it  aims to distribute about 10,500 Food Hampers, each weighing approximately 30 kg containing essential food items to suffice a household up to a month.

It is estimated that around 63,000 individuals will benefit from this project in several regions among others, Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State and Mpumalanga.

ALSO READ: Ramadan: The struggle is real during load shedding

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