As of April 13, to May 13, 2021, Muslims here in Cayman observed Ramadhan, one of the sacred months in the Islamic calendar. Many of our friends and neighbors have been intrigued as to what Ramadhan is and why do Muslims celebrate it.
So what is Ramadhan? Ramadhan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. According to Islamic history, the archangel Gabriel was sent with the words of the Holy Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. It is in The Holy Quran we find the command to fast for the month of Ramadhan;
“O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.” 
It is also noteworthy that The Holy Quran was not the first scripture to prescribe fasting, we know that Jesus, Moses, Abraham, David, Joseph, Noah, and other Prophets – all fasted as a means of attaining nearness to God.
The fasting(Islamic) in the month of Ramadhan occurs daily, initiating the fast just before sunrise and concluding at sunset. During this time (approx.14 hours in Cayman) Muslims abstain from food, drink. The Holy Quran has excused certain people from fasting. For any person who is traveling, sick, elderly, or a child, fasting is not prescribed. For women who are undergoing their menstruations, are pregnant, or nursing, are in fact forbidden to fast during this month. Those who cannot fast according to the above, are rather encouraged to feed the hungry and the less fortunate. Ramadhan also inspires Muslims to increase in giving charity as much as possible.
For Muslims, Ramadhan is the annual reset button to break bad habits and develop stronger ones, repair broken relationships, and strengthen old ones. The Prophet of Islam has said;
“Whoever does not give up telling lies and evil deeds and speaking ill of others, God is not in need of his fasting and leaving his food and drink” 
Ramadhan itself brings a lot of benefits concerning spiritual reform, but there are many physical benefits for the body as well. According to an article by the name ‘8 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science‘  published by Healthline, fasting is beneficial in:
• The promotion of blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance
• Reducing inflammation in the body
• Improving blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels
• Preventing neurodegenerative disorders
• Possibly aiding weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism
• Increasing growth hormone secretion, which is important for growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength
• Possibly helping in delaying aging
• Possibly aiding in cancer therapy and effectiveness of chemotherapy
Eid Ul Fitr – Festival of breaking the Fast
On Thursday, May the 13th the Muslim celebrations began here locally as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community arranged their annual prayer service and BBQ at Caymans National Trust/Dart Park. On this day Muslims gathered together and celebrated the month-long religious ritual.
Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr by wearing new clothes, offering prayers, and meeting family and friends. They also enjoy a lot of food during this time, breaking bread with friends and family of all backgrounds. On this occasion, elders also reward children with abundant gifts, something all children look forward to throughout the year.
For The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, this was the opportunity to stand in solitude with their fellow Caymanians to give thanks for all the blessings we enjoy, especially when there is so much chaos ignited all over the world.
The prayer service focused on the alleviation from the Covid-19 pandemic and the successful handling of the situation by our government. Prayers were offered for the struggling, less fortunate, the oppressed, the oppressors, the displaced, and peace to reign in the world.
Giving charity is another fundamental tenant which is instilled in all Muslims, therefore the donations that were collected during the prayer services were forwarded to The Hope for Today Foundation, a humbling opportunity for everyone to help and cater to the needs of those who need it the most.
Many of our non-muslims friends also came out and joined the festivities bringing people from different religious backgrounds together and breaking bread in the spirit of love, courtesy, and respect.
Eid Mubarak and may the Lord bless all our fellow residents of The Cayman Islands. Amen
1. The Holy Quran – Chapter 2:Verse 184
2. Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab Al-Saum
3. ‘8 Health Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science’. Rachel Link, published 2008. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits.
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