Ramadan Will Begin Saturday, July 21, 2012, in the Chicagoland Area

American Islamic Association
The American Islamic Association in Frankfort. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Frankfort, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Ramadan will begin on Saturday, July 21, 2012, according to a statement from the American Islamic Association.

Our friends at the American Islamic Association in Frankfort issued the following statement Thursday:

There are no authentic moon sighting reports from anywhere in North America.  Tomorrow will be Shaban 30th.  Ramadan will begin on Saturday July 21st.

According to the Chicago Hilal Committee’s Web site, the committee "was formed under the auspices of renowned scholars as well as representatives from the various mosques (masajid) to be able to carry out a responsibility that has been inherited by the Muslim community – especially the scholars – from the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam).  This responsibility is to determine the Islamic calendar through the sighting of the moon."

In Islam, the start of each month comes with the New Moon, "the phase of the Moon when it lies closest to the Sun in the sky as seen from the Earth. More precisely, it is the instant when the Moon and the Sun have the sameecliptic longitude."

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar:

It contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53=354.36 days, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Christian calendar.

Ramadan regresses approximately 10 days every year through the Gregorian calendar. So Chicagoland Muslims are in for a few summers of Ramadan for the next few years. During Ramadan, from sun-up to sunset, Muslims refrain from eating any food, including water, unless medical reasons dictate otherwise.

If you have Muslim friends, wish them a hearttfelt "Ramadan Mubarak," a Blessed Ramadan, during the next lunar month.