Muslim Soldiers Begin to Observe Ramadan

September 21, 2006

Source: Fort Jackson Leader/Army News Service

On September 21, 2006 the Army News Service reported, "Muslim believers around the world will begin observing the month of Ramadan on Saturday, and many Muslim Soldiers will join them. Ramadan is named after the ninth month on the Islamic Lunar calendar when the Qu’ran commands Muslims to abstain from food, drink and other physical comforts and pleasures, from dawn to sunset, every day until the end of the month. 'It’s one of the five pillars of faith, fasting in the month of Ramadan,' said Chaplain (Capt.) Abdullah Hulwe, battalion chaplain for Fort Jackson's 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment. 'Muslims pray five times a day, perform pilgrimage during the month of Ramadan, fast during Ramadan, give charity – or alms – and declare faith.' Traditional Ramadan practices, according to Hulwe, include breaking the daily fast with water and dates, reading through the entire Qu’ran, and visiting family and friends. One of the most important festivals in Islam is the three-day Eid ul-Fitr, or Festival of Bread-Breaking, which begins sundown on the last day of Ramadan, which this year is Oct. 23. 'It’s a month of giving, a month of mercy,' said Hulwe. 'It’s a month of learning for Muslims, and for people of other faiths to learn about Islam.' By fasting, believers experience spiritual renewal and learn self-discipline and generosity, Hulwe said. 'It’s part of the Army values, selfless service to others ... you give a little bit of yourself, a little bit of your skill, and you give money (to the poor).'"