Afghanaid's Guide to Ramadan From everyone here at Afghanaid, we wish you a very happy and peaceful Ramadan and we hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe, healthy and cheerful during this difficult time. What is Ramadan? Ramadan is considered to be the holiest month of the year in Islam, where Muslims worldwide fast during daylight hours as a form of worship to bring them closer to God. Families and friends unite to break their fast together, after sunset during iftar or before dawn during suhour. Ramadan is a month of spiritual rejuvenation, where most Muslims try to avoid negative acts or their personal vices, whilst instead practicing positive acts, self-control and compassion for those less fortunate than themselves. It is also a month to focus on devotion, during which many Muslims will spend extra time reading the Qur’an and performing special prayers. When is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar - the timing is based on sightings of the crescent moon which means that the dates vary slightly from year to year. In 2021, the month of Ramadan will begin around Monday 12th April. Ramadan ends with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, where families and friends gather together to share celebratory meals and give gifts to their children. Eid al-Fitr is considered to be a time for gratitude, forgiveness and for making amends. Ramadan during the COVID-19 pandemic This year Ramadan arrives as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, when social distancing measures are being observed the world over. These measures, most especially restrictions on movement between and within communities, the closure of mosques and the restriction or banning of public gatherings, will of course have an effect on the practices which are usually central to Ramadan. Find out more about navigating Ramadan during the Coronavirus. Charitable giving during Ramadan Ramadan is believed to be the best time of the year to practice positive acts such as giving to charity. The rewards for generous deeds during Ramadan are believed to be multiplied many times over. It is the most popular month for paying Zakat (donating 2.5% of your wealth to charity) - each year, British Muslims give millions of pounds to charities. Together, we can make a real difference Everything Afghanaid does is geared towards achieving our vision of a peaceful and thriving Afghanistan. During this challenging time, Afghan women, men, boys and girls across the country desperately need our help. Read more about our response to COVID-19 in Afghanistan, put your time at home to good use and get involved with our At Home Heroes, or give the gift of hope to Afghans who are struggling at this time.