The Islamic calendar differs from the Gregorian one in that it is lunar based. 12 full cycles of the moon comprises one Islamic year, meaning typically that each year is 11 days shorter than the ones we mark in the west. This means that the month of Ramadan, as well as other Islamic holidays, constantly advances and it will take 33 years for Ramadan to come round at the same time of the year again.
It’s never easy to fast from dawn to dusk, but at this time of year in the UAE it is especially difficult. Today in Abu Dhabi, Muslims have to fast from Imsak at 4.07hrs right through to 19:19, an incredible 15 hours and 8 minutes! Consider also that daytime temperatures reach up to 48C in the Emirate and you can imagine how challenging it will be for our Muslim hosts.
Today’s mosque is located on Delma Island. This small island in the Arabian Gulf, once famous for pearling, is home to some beautiful mosques which are quite different to those you find on the mainland.
Wishing all our Muslim friends “Ramadan Kareem”. May this Holy Month be a blessed one for you and your families.