Ramadan: Fasting, Technology and the Olympics
The holiest month of the Islamic calendar began Thursday night.
Ramadan began at dusk Thursday night, marking the beginning of the holiest month for Muslims. The faithful are directed to fast and abstain from sex during the daytime, in observance of the month when Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar begins with the new crescent moon, which has become a point of controversy with new technologies that can spot the moon while the sun is still up.
Since Ramadan officially begins when Islamic leaders announce the sighting of the moon, the actual beginning has become a point of debate between modern-leaning Muslims and traditional Muslim scholars, according to ABC News.
And as if fasting wasn't a challenge enough, a number of the more than 3,000 Muslim athletes participating in the Olympic games later this month will be going without food and drink during the daytime competitions, reports the Washington Post. The last time the two events overlapped was during the 1980 summer games.
Religious authorities did make an exception to the fasting for the athletes, but many are still choosing to abstain, reports the Post.
In Howard County, the Maryum Islamic Center in Ellicott City is offering adult Quran classes and other programs for Muslims and those interested in Islam.