What is Ramadan?
Reviewed and edited by: Khadija Ahmed
Learn More about the Muslim Holy Month and Traditional Halal Recipes:
Ramadan, in Islam, is the holy month of fasting. It falls on the ninth month of the Muslim calendar at the first sighting of the crescent moon. For many Muslims, not only is it a period of communal prayer and reading of the Qu’ran, it also is a time of charitable giving and good deeds. One of the five pillars of Islam is the practice of self-restraint. In recognition of this, Muslims are obligated to refrain from food and drink between dawn and dusk during Ramadan. “Fasting has a lot of significance,” according to Pious Ali, a city councilor in Portland. “We believe it brings us close to God, close to our families.”
Breaking of the Fast:
There is a significant communal component of Ramadan which is emphasized during the breaking of the fast. The daily fast is broken with a meal called iftar, which is commonly shared with friends and family each night. Additionally, the end of Ramadan is celebrated with Eid al-Fitr, an exciting time for extended family and friends to come together, enjoy delicious food, and exchange gifts.
Given that Islam spans many different cultures and countries worldwide, there are a wide variety of dishes that are eaten for either iftar or Eid al-Fitr gatherings. It’s exciting to see the beautiful assortment of foods that different cuisines offer during this sacred month, from colorful stews to savory meat dishes featuring beef or lamb. One common denominator across many Islamic communities is breaking the fast each day with dates since this was the custom of the Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it is common for many iftar meals to begin with the consumption of dates.
If you are looking for halal recipes to make for iftar or Eid al-Fitr celebrations, see the following recipes below!