What to learn about Ramadan, when it begins amid Gaza cease-fire talks | EUROtoday

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Israel and Hamas, by means of mediators, are attempting to succeed in a deal that will pause combating and launch Hamas-held hostages for Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners by the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“We’ll know in a couple of days what’s going to happen,” President Biden advised reporters Tuesday. “There’s got to be a cease-fire. If we get to [the] circumstance that it continues to Ramadan … it’s going to be very dangerous. So we are trying very, very hard to get a cease-fire.”

Here’s what to learn about Ramadan, the holiest interval within the Islamic calendar and the casual deadline for a Gaza cease-fire deal.

What is Ramadan, and the way is it noticed?

Ramadan is probably the most sacred month for Muslims all over the world who imagine that the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad throughout this time. Muslims are required to quick throughout Ramadan — abstaining from consuming or consuming — between daybreak and sundown. People eat their first meal, Suhoor, earlier than dawn and break their quick at Iftaar, most frequently beginning with a date, at nightfall.

What to know concerning the potential cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas

Fasting throughout Ramadan is without doubt one of the 5 pillars of the faith. The others are career of religion, prayer 5 occasions a day, charity and pilgrimage to Mecca. “Many Muslims will engage in various acts of devotion, including reciting or reading from the Quran, participating in special nighttime prayers, and offering donations,” Mohammad Hassan Khalil, a professor of spiritual research and director of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University, mentioned in an e-mail. “If they already do all these things throughout the year, they are likely to do more of each in Ramadan.”

Ramadan can also be seen as a month of giving: Muslims all over the world are inspired to donate to charity and consider others’ plights. Fundraising and marketing campaign efforts for Gaza are more likely to improve through the holy month consequently.

Ramadan ends with the pageant of Eid al-Fitr, which many Muslims have a good time by dressing up in new garments, making communal prayers and gifting cash to youngsters.

But the shadow of the struggle in Gaza, Khalil mentioned, will make this Ramadan a somber time for a lot of.

“One cannot begin to imagine how difficult this period will be for the people of Gaza. And for countless other Muslims who have been traumatized by the images and videos coming out of Gaza,” he mentioned.

Ramadan is the ninth month within the Islamic lunar calendar, and it begins and ends with the sighting of the crescent moon. Based on the phases of the moon cycle, the lunar calendar has 354 days, so Ramadan begins 10 or 11 days earlier annually on the longer Gregorian calendar. This 12 months, Ramadan is predicted to begin March 10 or 11.

Is a cease-fire going to occur by Ramadan?

U.S. officers say they’ve saved Ramadan in thoughts through the months-long negotiations for a cease-fire. “We’ve always wanted this in place for Ramadan — to have a Ramadan period in which you have calm and you’re able to do the essential humanitarian work,” a Biden administration official mentioned throughout a briefing with journalists final week.

The contours of the deal recognized up to now embrace a six-week pause in combating within the first part, throughout which humanitarian help to Gaza could be elevated and a few Palestinian prisoners in Israel launched in alternate for the discharge of some hostages held in Gaza.

“There has been significant progress over the last few weeks. But like all things, until a deal is actually done, it’s not done,” the official mentioned, including that Israel had “more or less” accepted the proposal.

Israel has waged certainly one of this century’s most damaging wars in Gaza

Basem Naim, a member of the Hamas political bureau, advised The Washington Post on Tuesday that its delegation had offered to mediators its “vision” for a cease-fire, which features a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza — even when executed in phases — and permission for displaced individuals to return dwelling with out preconditions.

Last week, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry mentioned Cairo was hopeful that an settlement on a cease-fire might come earlier than the beginning of Ramadan. “I can say that we have reached a point of understanding; we will still exert every effort with our brothers in Qatar and the U.S. and others close to the negotiations,” Shoukry mentioned, talking on the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey.

“Everyone recognizes that we have a time limit to be successful before the start of Ramadan,” he mentioned.

Having a cease-fire in place for Ramadan is a key emotional objective for Muslims, who try to train non secular self-discipline and empathize with these much less lucky through the holy month. Pressure for a cease-fire from an already infected public in Muslim nations is predicted to mount.

What about Ramadan tensions at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem?

The Holy Esplanade, the place al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem sits, is revered in Judaism and Islam. For Jews, the positioning is named Temple Mount, the place the religion’s First and Second Temples as soon as stood, and to Muslims, it’s the Noble Sanctuary, the third-holiest web site after Mecca and Medina and the place the place Muhammad ascended to heaven on an evening throughout Ramadan that’s thought-about one of many holiest of the 12 months.

Restrictions on entry to al-Aqsa throughout Ramadan had been beneath dialogue by the far-right Israeli authorities, however the prime minister’s workplace mentioned Tuesday that worshipers’ entry could be permitted, “similar to the numbers in previous years,” pending a weekly safety evaluation.

Ramadan introduced uncommon calm, acquainted worries to Jerusalem’s Old City

Devout Muslims are likely to spend Ramadan’s late hours on the mosque, many performing “al-Taraweeh” prayers till near daybreak. Spending the ultimate third of the evening in prayer is taken into account probably the most commendable.

During Ramadan final 12 months, Israel raided the mosque, injuring greater than two dozen worshipers and arresting many extra, sparking rocket fireplace from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes. Hamas leaders have mentioned their Oct 7. assault on Israel that killed about 1,200 individuals was in response to violence at al-Aqsa and the punishing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land by Israel.

Hamas leaders have additionally mentioned throughout conversations with The Post that the thought for the Oct. 7 assaults was born out of frictions that erupted earlier in Jerusalem, throughout Ramadan 2021. Tensions had constructed up through the holy month, and in its remaining days, Israeli safety forces confronted Muslim worshipers in a raid on al-Aqsa. The occasions, Hamas leaders mentioned, have been the catalyst that pushed the group to set in movement plans for an assault.

Lior Soroka contributed to this report.