Your guide to Ramadan in Singapore

Everything you need to know about the holy month of Ramadan in Singapore

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Photograph: Unsplash/Mayank Baranwal

From April 24 to May 24, Muslims in Singapore observe the month of Ramadan. It is the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar and is about more than just abstaining from food and drink from dawn till dusk. During the holy month, Muslims take the opportunity to self-reflect, repent and purify the soul by practising charitable deeds and acts of compassion, while also refraining from negative thoughts and bad habits.

What happens during fasting?

All healthy and able-bodied Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan, with the exception of children, the elderly, the ill, pregnant women, and women who are nursing or menstruating. They will wake up before sunrise to eat and drink. This pre-dawn meal – called sahur – will be the only thing they consume till sunset. During the day, life goes on as usual whether it is work or school. Remember to be understanding of your colleagues or friends who seem lethargic during the day! 

Breaking fast 

The moment most Muslims look forward to is sunset when everyone comes together to break fast or iftar with a hearty meal (or even feast). It is usually a communal affair and a chance but given the current situation, most Muslims will have to dine at home.

Since most of us have to rely on Halal delivery services now, do that note that your orders might take a longer time to come during peak periods from 6pm to 7pm. A large number of delivery riders are Muslim too and need to break their fast after sunset. So do show a little compassion and understanding if your deliveries take a longer time to arrive.

After iftar comes the nightly congregational prayers called terawih. With the closure of Mosques and religious sites, people can no longer head down to pray and make donations. If you wish to help out, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) has launched a new centralised donation portal called OurMasjid.SG to collect funds. 

What's next after Ramadan? 

To mark the end of the fasting month, Muslims celebrate a day of victory with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore. Families hold gatherings and everyone comes together to seek forgiveness from their elderly and each other – but it seems that it will be a rather quiet one this year with restrictions in place. The usual visitations between families are not permitted to happen this year so perhaps we'll see more Zoom Hari Raya parties?

As mosques islandwide are closed during this period, Eid prayers will have to be performed at home. The takbir (communal prayer calls) will be broadcasted on the eve and morning of Hari Raya via platforms such as SalamSG TV's YouTube channel, the Facebook pages of MUIS and mosques, and Malay radio station Warna 94.2FM.

Keep the spirit of Ramadan alive

If you live in Singapore, you most likely know someone who observes Ramadan. Things might be a little different this month with both Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri happening during the 'circuit breaker' period. But while traditions like family gatherings and social events cannot happen, there are still many ways to feel connected to each other and the community. 

The yearly Ramadan bazaar at Geylang Serai is something most people look forward to. These festive markets are held to usher in the holy month, with numerous stalls selling food, clothes, and decorations in preparation of Eid al Fitr. With the main event cancelled due to the situation, at least three different initiatives have been spearheaded to now bring the bazaar online. Soon you will be able to shop for your favourite Hari Raya snacks, clothes and more on a virtual marketplace.

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Congratulations – you’ve made it to the end Ramadan which takes place from April 23 to May 23 this year. This Islamic holy month sees Muslims around the world (except the sick, elderly, pregnant or menstruating) abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk. This is all done while practising charitable deeds and acts of compassion as fasting doubles as a reminder of the sufferings faced by the less fortunate.  To mark the end of the fasting month, Muslims celebrate with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa in Singapore, on May 24. Besides a massive feast (home-cooked or delivered), the religious occasion is a time for forgiveness and making amends. How to spend Hari Raya during the circuit breaker Due to the current situation, the Religious Islamic Council of Singapore (MUIS) recently announced that house visiting, even among family members, are not to be carried out during the circuit breaker period. Singaporean pilgrims are also advised to defer the annual haj pilgrimage to Mecca to 2021. As mosques islandwide are closed during this period, Eid prayers will have to be performed at home. The takbir (communal prayer calls) will be broadcasted on the eve and morning of Hari Raya via platforms such as SalamSG TV's YouTube channel, the Facebook pages of MUIS and mosques, and Malay radio station Warna 94.2FM. For everything Hari Raya, including the greetings, traditions, food, and even online events, check out our nifty gui

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