An American Ramadan, Circa 1955


Does the first experience of Ramadan begin the same for everyone? It all depends on the time and where this all takes place. Consider the time to be during the year 1955 or early 1956, and the place was Oakland when I experienced my first month of fasting. I don’t remember for sure just what time of year it was since time has elapsed.

The ordinary calendars said nothing about when Ramadan should begin. There was very little printed literature available, except what I received in the mail from well-wishers in Africa and the Fiji Islands. Even once in a while I would get something from India or Pakistan, but they only said that the month of Ramadan was somewhat close to some equivalent month on our American Calendars. There were “Turko Tartar” community members here in the Bay Area and they had a calendar with the important Muslim holidays printed on it. Since they were some of the founders of the Islamic Center of San Francisco, we followed their advice and learned what day Ramadan would begin.

Fasting should begin just before dawn appears. When is dawn?

Read the rest of the article here on Al Mihrab Patheos.

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